Unused Cards, should I close the accounts?

Penguin_ Posts: 1,186
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Pretty much self explanatory really. I have about 7 credit cards, most from a time when I was silly with money but 5 of them now have zero balances on them.

Should I close down the cards? I will be looking to get a mortgage when I sell my house next year to buy with my fiancée so just want to make sure I'm doing the right thing. 


  • Mark_d
    Mark_d Posts: 269
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    There are many benefits to keeping things simple.  I have one Amex, one barclaycard for when Amex is not accepted, and a halifax clarity card for foreign spending.  All cards have some usage every month.
    In terms of preparing for a mortgage you want to make sure that you don't have unnecessary credit available to you.  So if the most you imagine yourself spending in a month is £5k, then a credit limit of £15k should be more than enough to cover you for anything unforeseen.
  • Nasqueron
    Nasqueron Posts: 8,335
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    It depends on the limits, what use you have for them etc and also what the balance is on the other 2 - balance transfer or not being paid in full and paying interest?

    If you have let's say 2 BT cards running at 0% and will be cleared before the end, I would keep 2 other cards, ideally one MC, one Visa (and AmEx if you have one) from different banking groups like say HSBC and NatWest rather than say Lloyds and Halifax, then spend on them every month - shopping, fuel etc, and pay back in full every month by direct debit - this will at least give you a year+ of positive credit use - showing you can borrow and repay responsibly.

    If, however, you have 2 cards with balances you can't pay back in full and are paying interest, then work on clearing them asap
  • daivid
    daivid Posts: 1,202
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    My non-expert opinion is 7 cards is no problem provided they are well managed, and in which case possibly even a benefit as lenders want to see you can manage credit. If you are sure you can do so without slipping into bad habits keep the cards and make an essential spend (£1 will do) a month on each, repaying in full by direct debit. If the 2 cards in use are incurring interest do you have any balance transfer offers that would reduce the cost (and time) of repayment? Again discipline is key, make sure you are repaying any interest accruing debt as quickly as possible.

  • enthusiasticsaver
    enthusiasticsaver Posts: 15,297
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    I personally would not keep all 7 open even if you trust yourself not to spend on them.  Any mortgage application will show the amount of credit available to you and it may or may not affect an application.  I am not sure how they view it these days.  

    How much do you have outstanding on the 2 left and how much of the limit is being used?  I would close down 3 of the 5 empty ones as a start as I cannot see why anyone would want or need 7 unless they are into stoozing. If stoozing they need to be 0% and presumably they aren't now. 

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