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Simply closing a credit card can damage consumer credit scores

Jul 25, 2013 Sean Albert

There are numerous ways credit card holders can damage their consumer credit scores, including making a late payment or breaching the credit limit. One action that people might not think would do any damage, but does, is closing a card.

John Ulzheimer, president of consumer education at, told Komo News that a card with a high limit shouldn't be closed, as it could lower a credit score.

"Credit scoring models like to see a lot of available unused credit limits on your cards," he told the source. "And by closing a credit card, you essentially take that limit out of the measurement equation. It can actually backfire and cause your score the be lower."

Another strange way consumers can damage their credit scores is by failing to pay speeding or parking tickets, U.S. News & World Report noted. These fines eventually get sent to a debt collector if not paid in a timely manner, which can lower scores.

Consumers who do see their scores fall might struggle with their finances, but short term lending can be of assistance. Financial institutions offering this form of financing tend to turn to alternative credit scores to approve applications, so a low traditional score often won't hurt potential.