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Will closing sub-prime cards help my scores?

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I have been playing along with all of you for about 2 1/2 years now and my scores seem to be stuck around the 600 mark.

I have no unpaid collections on my report, no late payments for 3 years, and all remaining negative TLs seem to be iron-clad. I have DV, disputed, PFD'd -- every trick in the book. I believe my report is now in a state where only time will improve it -- namely, 15 negative student loan TLs that resulted from a late consolidation loan 5 years ago. NOTHING seems to work to get those things off of my CR.

That being said, a mortgage lender who I know mentioned to me that I should consider closing the subprime cards I have, that they may be depressing my scores a bit.

I have three regular cards: Hooters MC ($1900), Target ($700), JC Penney ($200), and three sub-prine cards: 2 First Premier MC ($350/$350), and Orchard Bank ($400).

Assuming my utilization is 15% across the board, would closing these three sub-prime cards help my overall credit picture?

Do I really look more favorable to a mortgage lender without sub-prime cards?

Length of credit history isn't an issue because I have ten + years of multiple TLs --


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There are so many variables in this scenario, that it is impossible to tell if it will help or not. I do not think that FICO differentiates between prime and subprime cards.

The 15 negative TL's, and any other negatives you have are what is hurting you.

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Dive is correct. FICO doesn't care if your card says Orchard or Discover. The only way it would matter is if a human being looked at your report... the presence of these subprime cards usually signals past credit problems, even if they've been deleted off your reports.

The 15 derogs are what's killing you. Don't close any positive TLs, at least until you are able to replace them with better ones and those new accounts age at least a year.

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Thanks everyone -- that's great information. I'll keep them there -- until Amex comes calling again.

I am stuck with all of the negative TLs, though, they're not going to budge. I've tried everything for the past three years, nothing works -- just have to wait them out!


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