When to close a credit card?

Earlier this year I finally decided to turn over a new leaf and get out (and stay out) of credit card debt. I have done a pretty decent job of paying down my credit cards…two completely paid off, one will be paid off this summer and the other two hopefully by the end of the year. (Yeah, as I’m writing this I’m cringing over the fact that I even have FIVE cards. How did that happen???)

I have an account with CareCredit - it’s like a medical credit card that I applied for when my doggie had to have lots of emergency work done last summer. That card is now paid off and poor doggie is no longer with us, so I won’t be using the card any more.

So my question is - when do I close it? I have heard that having too much available credit is a problem, but I have also heard that having too high of a ratio of used vs. available credit is a problem. And I have no idea if voluntarily closing a paid-off account will ding my score.

If it matters, right now I have a balance of approximately 43% of my available credit (for all cards). If I close Care Credit, it will raise the ratio to 56% of my available credit being used. Are these numbers far enough apart that closing or not closing the account will make a difference in my credit score right now?

I’ve gotten a little OCD about getting all this paid off…and when I do, I will definitely be closing some of these cards. I just want to do things in the right order. Thanks for any advice you can give!

I wouldn’t close it. Just don’t use it.

[li]Your credit score will go down if you close it. [/li]
[li]Too much available credit is not as big a problem than having a higher balance in comparison to your credit line/limit. [/li][/ul]

And you never know when a big emergency will come up and you may need it.

I speak from personal experience. My credit score has been in the excellent range for the pass several years. But I’ve have been in the poor category a few times too.

Go ahead and close it. It’s a risk and if there is any hit at all, it’s certain not to be significant.

The one card to keep is your oldest one if it’s oldest by a significant amount.

Here’s a related question - Care Credit closed our account themselves, since we opened it for emergencies that never arose, so it never got used.

What’s that look like on my credit.