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Should I close my secured credit cards?

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I have 3 secured credit cards for the past few years (BankFirst and Providian). Everything was going well until one of my payments for them got to 60 days late and messed everything up. I have been back on track for the past year, but I am getting to the point where I wanna save money and stop paying all these crazy interest rates.

I have the money to just close the cards, should I go ahead and do it?

I'm planning to look into buying a house around 2005-2006, but right now, I am tired of the credit card merry go round.

I have tried to goodwill BankFirst, but nothing came of it. So now I am stuck with that 60 mark on my report.

Any advice?

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Pay it down and leave the balance at around $20. Use it once a month to buy a stick of gum. Keep the balance low and keep making payments.

FICO offers some forgiveness for lates that are more than 2 years old. So, by leaving a low balance and making small monthly payments, you're building more positive credit history - by the 2-year mark, your scores will have increased that much more.

If you delete this account, your FICO will drop because you've lost an entire tradeline - negative or not.

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