Does closing Apple credit card hurt me?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by iluvifone, Jan 26, 2012.

  1. iluvifone macrumors 6502

    Jun 28, 2010
    -i live in Ontario, Canada
    -was running low on cash last month, but desperately needed new macbook when old one died.
    -total came to about 1400 USD. i only had about 900 that i could use for the laptop at the time, so I applied for the 'apple financial services' thing on their website, and got approved
    -purchased laptop.. also got the bill statement in the mail.. says i have 90 days, no interest, to pay it off
    -went to the bank today.. paid the entire thing off

    1) Can I close the account now? I have no intention of using it ever again, unless it gets me special offers or lower prices by using it. I'm worried that opening and closing an account in such a short time span would hurt my credit score... anyone?

    2) Can I actually use this card to get 90 days, no interest, on any purchase at any store, or is it exclusively for use at only?

  2. acidfast7 macrumors 65816


    Nov 22, 2008
    part of the FICO (don't know if they use that in Canada) score is the average length of account (so it may help in this case to close it).

    however, another part is the ratio of used to available credit. maybe having the card open but empty would be better than closed.
  3. Macman45 macrumors G5


    Jul 29, 2011
    Somewhere Back In The Long Ago
    I agree, it's not hurting you to keep it open. I have a Bank of America card that I have used once to make a large purchase on Amazon...Got it for the increased protection and not the credit, so I payed it off the same month.

    I have never used it since, but they keep increasing my credit limit (I suppose in the hope that I will cave and buy something with it) It sits in my wallet along with my Amex, rarely used, but I keep them open.
  4. Mkostera16 macrumors member

    Jan 9, 2012
  5. smithrh macrumors 68020


    Feb 28, 2009
    Keep it open.

    However, don't forget about, if you put something small on the account every month or two then the account will remain marked "active" and it will remain in the FICO scoring equation. This will tend to help your score to some small amount.

    This is, of course, if you're concerned about your score, which you should be.
  6. miniConvert macrumors 68040


    Mar 4, 2006
    Kent, UK - the 'Garden of England'.
    Credit scores aside, if you don't want or need the facility then you should close it.

    As a one-off occurrence, it's not going to have any lasting impact on your score.

    If you start regularly opening credit and then rapidly paying it off then that might be a different matter.
  7. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
  8. Shrink macrumors G3


    Feb 26, 2011
    New England, USA
    There are reasons to keep it open. Part of your credit score is determined by the percentage of total credit available you have used.

    So let's say you have 3 cards, each with $100 credit limit. You have $100 charged. That's using 33% of your total available credit. Now you decide to close one card because you hardly use it. Now your available credit is $200, and your $100 usage now amounts to 50% of available credit used. That will effect your credit score (at least it will in the States).

    So unless there is some strong reason to dump a credit card (e.g. annual fees, compulsive shopping), it is probably better to keep the card open and not use it.

    One further point - many CC companies will close your account if you don't use them for some period of time (1 year, 2 years). So use the card for one small purchase a year to keep it open. From your credit rating point of view, having the CC company close your account looks bad and negatively effects your score. If a card is to be closed, it looks better if it it closed by the account holder.
  9. section31 macrumors member

    Jun 26, 2010
    If there is some sort of yearly fee then I'd suggest closing it immediately.

    I'd say keep it open if it's a significant part of your total available credit. If it isn't and you don't feel comfortable keeping it around (i.e.- it'd be too tempting to get the latest Apple products when not needed) then close it.

    I wouldn't suggest spending small amounts on it just to keep it active. This thought process usually yields bad results.
  10. Shrink macrumors G3


    Feb 26, 2011
    New England, USA
    Just curious, what bad results might this yield? I wasn't aware that making the infrequent small charge had a negative aspect. (See my post above)

    Serious question, if there are negative consequences, it would be very useful for me to understand them.

  11. ucfgrad93 macrumors P6


    Aug 17, 2007
    I would also recommend to close it.
  12. section31 macrumors member

    Jun 26, 2010
    The negative consequences I mentioned were not FICO score calculation concerns but more of a mindset/sociological aspect of spending habits.

    Spending a little here and there just for the benefit of keeping up one's FICO score would most likely lead to the purchase of unneeded items; at the Apple store we all know this could even lead to some big purchase items. There are myriad ways to use that money to better one's situation from a personal finance perspective.
  13. Shrink macrumors G3


    Feb 26, 2011
    New England, USA
    Thanks for your reply- interesting points. I was looking at the issue strictly from the FICO score standpoint, not from a "psychological" perspective.

    Interesting considering my profession!:p :D
  14. whoathere macrumors 6502


    Feb 8, 2006
    Rockford, IL
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 5_0_1 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/534.46 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.1 Mobile/9A405 Safari/7534.48.3)

    Also, making a small purchase on a cc and then forgetting to pay. A pack of gum gets real expensive with a late fee!
  15. eternlgladiator macrumors 68000


    Jun 20, 2010
    Twin Cities
    Mostly this. Having an active card with a full available balance will theoretically help you credit score more than not having it. If you can manage to keep it open with a zero balance and just "forget" about it while making sure you don't get hit by an annual use fee or something would be best. That available credit is a big part of your score. However, avoiding the risk and self managing is also equally critical. Do whatever you're comfortable with.
  16. renewed macrumors 68040


    Mar 24, 2009
    Bemalte Blumen duften nicht.
    Some lenders will look to see how much available unsecured credit you have and actually deny you more lines of credit based on the theory that you could fill those up and then be unable to pay them back.
  17. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem


    Feb 19, 2005
    Barclay's card? Close it. Go get another credit card with a lower interest rate and no annual fee. Let it give you perks like airline miles or something else.
  18. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location

    Yes, but I thought having more credit cards, or more available credit that you can borrow from, would also lower your ability to take on a big loan in the future. When you're assessed on your suitability for a loan, a bank may treat your available credit as a type of "loan", even if you haven't used it.

    For example, if you had a spending limit of $20,000 on your credit card, but you only owed $500 on your credit card, you'd still have $19500 available on that card. The bank knows that you only owe $500. However, you'd still be a risky customer because the bank sees the $20000 spending limit as a loan already given to you. Potentially, you could go out tomorrow and max out your credit card, and which would instantly compromise your ability to pay off the loan you're applying for.

    It's not how much you owe that's the problem to a bank. It's your potential to become instantly in debt by $20,000 that's the problem. The $20000 may be seen as an ongoing loan.

    I could be wrong though, or it may work differently in your country/state.

    Anyway, if you don't need a credit card, you should close it.
  19. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

    Oct 9, 2006
    I vote close it as well. The limited amount of help it could do (and by limited I mean maybe a point or 2) is not worth the risk that you might charge something to it.

    Also having a lot of lines of credit open from CC hurt your score and not help. Big time if they are score/company cards. One should really only have 2-3 credit cards in their name total. (Primary, backup and then a 3rd card that not really carried and used for emergencies)
    Also Credit cards are considered insecure debt and sometimes having the a lot of insecure debt open to you can hurt.

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