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Can I close credit cards that have a balance?

Bazinga!!!!!

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16-Apr-09 3:00 pm

My goal is to pay them off but I keep charging them Doh! So I want to close them so I'm not tempted but is that allowed? has anybody done this?

 

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16-Apr-09 3:03 pm

I believe so but its probably not a good idea.  When you credit is run, one of the things they look at is outstanding credit vs. available credit.  If you close them with balances you'd have all outstanding credit and no available, and that's not good.

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16-Apr-09 3:07 pm

Yep, I agree.   You could dunk them in water and freeze them.  That way it will take along time for them to thaw...so you can't use them.

Bazinga!!!!!

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16-Apr-09 3:08 pm

girlonthebrain:
Embarrassed

I believe so but its probably not a good idea.  When you credit is run, one of the things they look at is outstanding credit vs. available credit.  If you close them with balances you'd have all outstanding credit and no available, and that's not good.

Out credit is BAD at the moment. We went almost half a year without paying our bills

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16-Apr-09 3:08 pm

Oh, but you order online a lot right? I guess freezing would still allow you to see/know the number.  hmmm...

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16-Apr-09 3:11 pm

I don't think you can actually close the account since you still owe on it.  I suggest cutting up the cards so you are not tempted to charge on them anymore.  Worked for me.  If you can pay more than the minimum it will make a huge difference in your payoff time.

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16-Apr-09 5:09 pm

 I would suggest looking into a consolidation loan to pay off the credit cards.   This may be tough since your credit is in the tank already, but there may be different rules about consolidating other loans.  You won't get a great rate, but it will still be WAAAAAY better than you are getting on credit cards, because if you have gotten behind then they are probably sticking you with nearly 30%, which is costing you a fortune.  Besides saving you money on interest, if you pay off the cards with a loan, you can then close the account, and you won't be tempted to use them any more.  

Mom to And Microsort/IUI twins!



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16-Apr-09 5:14 pm

You can close them, but it's probably better to just cut them up, as long as you don't have to pay annual fees (then it may be better to close them if your credit is trashed anyway).

I agree with Maureen about consolidation if you can do that, too.

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16-Apr-09 5:43 pm

I totally agree with Maureen.  If you have credit card debt and can't pay it off a consolidation loan is the way to go.  Not only will you be able to get rid of the balances it will actually have a timeline for you to pay it off.  If you keep paying the minimum payment you will never get those cards paid off at that high interest rate.  With a consolidation loan you have so many years to pay it and then you are done.

I also suggest cutting them up and not closing them.  If you need to ask them to take your credit line down to $500 so that way you still have something to use for an emergency if you need it.  

And to be perfectly honest if you can't pay your bills for 6 months and are struggling to pay your bills now you need to talk to a financial advisor to help you out.  You should not be spending any money at all excpet for the necessary things.  I hope that didn't sound harsh because I don't want it to sound that way at all.  Just more hard help Love Ya!


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16-Apr-09 6:52 pm

lissa:

You can close them, but it's probably better to just cut them up, as long as you don't have to pay annual fees (then it may be better to close them if your credit is trashed anyway).

I agree with Maureen about consolidation if you can do that, too.

 

Ditto. Try to avoid cancelling the accts - you need those accts to help re-build your credit. Cut up the cards and just make payments or get a FREE debt consolidation service to help you work out a loan or payment plan with better terms. 

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16-Apr-09 7:04 pm

girlonthebrain:

I believe so but its probably not a good idea.  When you credit is run, one of the things they look at is outstanding credit vs. available credit.  If you close them with balances you'd have all outstanding credit and no available, and that's not good.

Ditto to this.  It can hurt your credit more than having no balance on open cards.  Just keep paying on time and try not to close or open new ones.

Bazinga!!!!!

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16-Apr-09 7:13 pm

Any recommendations for debt consolidation???? I want to go somewhere legit and not get ripped off.

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16-Apr-09 7:44 pm

Your bank or somewhere like lending tree.  I have never used one of those services before so I am not sure.  I just remember LendingTree commercials LOL!


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16-Apr-09 8:24 pm

sailormoonmomma:

Any recommendations for debt consolidation???? I want to go somewhere legit and not get ripped off.

Go to Dave Ramsey's website or Clark Howard's site and do a search. I'm sure that they've both discussed these topics and probably have some recommendations.

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17-Apr-09 7:54 am

girls2mama:
Ditto. Try to avoid cancelling the accts - you need those accts to help re-build your credit.
 

This is true, but the problem with keeping the accounts open for "emergencies" and "rebuilding credit" is that if that credit is there, it is just tooooo tempting to use them when you're having trouble paying the bills and there's something you really want this month -- before you know it, you wind up with a new balance on those cards  PLUS that consolidation loan to pay off the previous balance, so now you're in even worse shape.   And now instead of helping your credit score, those cards are still hurting you if you can't pay on time. I think it's a tough call here.

Mom to And Microsort/IUI twins!



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