One of my major New Year's resolutions this year was to implement austerity. The past few years I’ve been highly cavalier with my money, mostly towards doing an immense amount of traveling. I don’t regret any of it as it’s been some of the best times in my life, but what with me turning 30 I figured time was right to store up some cash for headier times.
Midway through the year however I decided I was going to purchase a Porsche 911 in the near future, so austerity could not have come at a more perfect time. Slavishly save money just to then squander it all? That’s just how life works. To paraphrase Ludacris’ character in the Fast and Furious franchise: what’s the good of making money if you don’t spend any of it?
Nevertheless I’m still keeping to my resolution, and it’s been going great. With less expenditure I’ve whittled down the number of credits cards I use to only a few (the Chase line of Freedom and Sapphire cards are awesome). With no activity on the spare cards, I was content to let the credit card company close on them, thinking that it won’t do much damage to my credit score.
Well I was wrong. A few weeks ago I did my periodic routine check of my score on Credit Karma, and a particular item serendipitously caught my eye: the age of credit history. Turns out the length of time a credit card is open bears a positive attribution to the credit score, with it signifying trustworthiness and whatnot. Unfortunately for me, the cards I haven’t been using are the one’s I’ve had the longest.
I can’t let those cards expire now and risk damaging my credit score, not with the need to get financing for the Porsche next year. So in the past few weeks I’ve put tiny purchases on each formerly disused card to restart the closure clock, so to speak. My score is currently in the low 800s, and I aim to keep it that way.
Pro tip: don’t let your old credit cards expire unless you’ve got an equally old credit card you plan to keep using, because it will impact your credit score greatly.