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Does closing accounts lower or increase one's credit score, or does it depend?

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If you mean closing credit card accounts it will hurt your credit score in two ways:

1) It will reduce your available credit, which in turn will increase the utilization percentage of your credit if you owe a balance on any other card.

2) It will reduce the average age of your open accounts unless it was the last card you obtained.

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I do believe that closing your accounts could affect a negative credit score. If one does not have some credit card history, they assign a lower score to your ratings. I have problems because I don't have any large purchases that I am paying down.

It is okay to just keep your accounts at a zero balance.

  • Yes, but it's safer to close the account so someone can't make fraudulent transactions with it. – Geremia Jan 19 '16 at 23:51
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    They will mark the accounts inactive if you carry a zero balance for a long time which has a similar effect to closing it. – JohnFx Jan 20 '16 at 1:02
  • @JohnFx Yes, I've experienced even closed accounts still being charged/credited; what's closing even for, then? – Geremia Jan 20 '16 at 3:07

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