Credit Advice » Debt » Credit Cards

Credit Cards

Opening a credit card and making on-time payments is a signal to creditors that you can effectively manage debt. Late or missed payments may be a red flag to lenders. Before applying for or canceling a credit card, learn how having one can impact your credit report and credit score.

Canceling Credit Cards

Closing a credit card account reduces the total amount of credit you have available to you. This affects your credit utilization rate, which is a factor in calculating your credit score. If you have a strong credit history and/or a large amount of credit available to you, closing a single credit card might not impact your credit score at all.

If you’re afraid you’ll be unable to risk the temptation of the credit card, it may be advisable to close it. Large portions of debt and late or missed payments are negative marks on your credit history and can harm your chances of earning future credit.

Missed Payments and Authorized User’s Credit Score

May 5, 2014

Dear Experian, I am an authorized user on my mother’s account. Will it affect me if she misses payments? Will it hurt my credit? - SHN

Effects of Missed Payments on Authorized User’s Credit

March 27, 2014

Dear Experian, I am an authorized user on my mother’s account. Will it affect me if she misses payments? Will it hurt my credit? - SHN

Authorized User Account Not Appearing on Credit Report

December 18, 2013

Dear Experian, I checked my credit report online and saw that it says I have no credit cards. I am an authorized user on a card, and I pay the...

Adding Authorized User Won’t Hurt Your Credit

December 4, 2013

Dear Experian, Will adding one or more authorized users (my husband and my daughter) to my credit card accounts affect me negatively? My daughter will not have a card to...

No Limit on How Many Credit Cards You Can Have

September 10, 2013

Dear Experian, How many credit cards can I have? I have eight credit cards. I opened all of them within the last year (total $6,500), plus a loan for a...

Paying Credit Card Debt with an Installment Loan

September 10, 2013

Dear Experian, Do I save money if I pay my credit cards off with a loan that has a lower APR with a fixed installment payment, or is it better...

Sharing the Security Code on Your Credit Card

August 23, 2013

Dear Experian, I purchased something by phone recently and was asked for the security code on the back of my credit card. I thought it was strange, but she said...

Being Removed from an Account After Cosigning

August 23, 2013

Dear Experian, I am a cosigner and the secondary user on a credit card. I am not the primary user. I want to get my name off of the credit...

Finance Charges and Minimum Credit Card Payments

August 20, 2013

Dear Experian, I have a rather simple question. My wife and I disagree on whether a finance charge is already included in the minimum payment required. She says that we...

Transferring Balances Shouldn’t Hurt Credit Scores

August 17, 2013

Dear Experian, Does the simple act of making a balance transfer lower your credit score and if so how much? - UOU

Balance-to-Limit Ratio Applies only to Revolving Accounts

August 16, 2013

Dear Experian, Does the balance-to-limit ratio only apply to credit cards, or does it apply to installment loans, such as student loans or auto loans, as well? - NDR

Getting More Credit Cards to Help Credit Scores

August 15, 2013

Dear Experian, Will my credit score improve if I have more credit cards? Do I have to use them to get a better score? - IGG