Finding balance in a chaotic world

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Easy Credit Terms Available

credit cardI’ve been going through my credit report and closing the accounts that I no longer use. Some of these have been on my report for over a decade with no activity so I’m going through the various customer service phone lines and trying to get them closed. I’m surprised at times how easy and how difficult this task is. It should be a matter of telling them I want to close my account and they do it. One of the cards it was just that easy. For the rest though it was kind of a pain.

 

My favorite was closing one of my credit cards that had not used for years. I was a little conflicted since it was the card I had had the longest, but since I never used it what was the point? So they try to convince me to keep it open. I expected this and they weren’t too pushy about it. I stood my ground and they closed the account without much of an issue but one of the things they said almost made me laugh out loud. First they told me that by closing this account, my credit score would take a hit. It may or may not but that is fine. Then he quotes some study that says people should have 4 – 6 credit cards open at a time to keep their credit scores from going down. I really wanted to ask him if he believed that and how many cards did he have?

 

There can be legitimate reason for having multiple credit cards. Personally I believe you need at least two so if something goes wrong with the first one, you still have one you can use. But six? Even if you needed another one for a business that still is below the four this “study” recommended. This is double true if you keep a balance on your card. Carrying multiple cards with multiple balances is a fast track to major money issues.

 

So all through these cancellations I kept hearing the impact it could have on my credit rating. Is this something I should be worried about? I don’t think so. The primary reason is that I don’t anticipate needing a loan in the future, certainly not before whatever hiccup on my credit score happens get smoothed out. Knowing I won’t be needing a car loan or to apply for financing for a new refrigerator is so incredibly freeing, and it is all thanks to having an emergency fund I can tap into if need be.

 

Looking at the various commercials on my satellite dish you would think that your credit score is the most important number in your life. It certainly has its uses but I think being debt free and not needing to use this arbitrary score is far more beneficial to you living a balanced life. Not owing a company money you are paying interest on is power like you wouldn’t believe.

 

So, I urge you to grab one of your free credit reports and look over it. Is there an account you just don’t use anymore? Close it. Consolidate credit card balances if you have any. Get rid of extra cards. Clean the clutter from your credit report like you would the clutter in your bedroom. It will bring some financial balance to your life and definitely lower your stress level.