Closing Credit Card Accounts
One caller who recently paid off all her credit card debt wants to know how she can close some of her accounts without hurting her credit score. As this savvy caller knows, maintaining credit card accounts in good standing helps establish good credit. Jean says if you must close a credit card because you're afraid of racking up more debt, start with the card that has the lowest line of credit and the highest annual fees. Then, take it slow—wait three to four months to see how closing the account affects your credit score, and only then decide whether you feel it's still necessary to close another account.
Debt Consolidation Loan?
Another caller says she and her husband have thousands of dollars in debt with credit cards and a student loan. She says she's making great progress, but asks if she should look into a debt consolidation loan because she doesn't have any savings. Jean cautions against a service like this, because it hurts your credit rating. Debt consolidation loans are not a good option when you're making progress—and this caller tells Jean she is making great strides! Instead, Jean says to keep plugging away, look to lower her interest rates on credit cards and continue making payments on time.