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Better to Close Credit Cards or Leave Alone?


daisymay
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My credit score is about 750 (taken me years to get there though). I have 3 open visa cards with utilization of about 50% (about $20,000 owed). I'm thinking about borrowing on my home equity to do some improvements but want to also consolidate these credit card balances to pay them off.

I make more than the minimum monthly payments, but it seems these debts just never really decrease. As I think about retiring, I'd like to have these balances gone.

The loan would be financed over 5 years so I would be able to see it get paid off. I believe I've learned my lesson about credit card debt, but it's just the getting what I've already charged paid off. I'd like to have a card to fall back on for emergencies, but pay cash for the day-to-day, routine stuff and not use credit cards.

If I close these credit lines, or the bank asks me to, how much damage will that do to my credit score? I'm thinking it's probably better to pay them off and leave them open.

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Thanks for your suggestion! It confirms what I thought I should do! I just signed loan papers this a.m. and the loan should be funded in a few days. I thought they would cut checks for the creditors but the package wasn't written up that way. So they said they would give us the funding and we will pay off the cards ourselves. I will file away the cards and use them only periodically as you suggested.

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