Can Closing Credit Cards Lower Your Scores?

The answer to the question is yes it can, but it doesn’t always lower your scores.  The reason it can lower your scores is because you lose the available credit in the calculation of what’s referred to as “revolving utilization.”  This is the relationship, expressed as a percentage, of your aggregate credit card balances as compared to your aggregate credit card credit limits.  You want this percentage to be as low as it can be.  Closing cards will result in a lower aggregate credit card credit limit figure, thus making it possible that your utilization percentage will increase and cause your score to decrease.

John Ulzheimer is the President of Consumer Education for and owner of  He is an expert on credit reporting, credit scoring, credit score ratings, and identity theft. Formerly of FICO and Equifax, John is the only recognized credit expert who actually comes from the credit industry.  He is a weekly guest on FOX’s The Willis Report and is the credit blogger for the New York Times and  He has served as a credit expert witness in more than 65 cases and has been qualified to testify in both Federal and State court on the topic of consumer credit.

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