The Oldest Card

This really is the first credit card I’ve ever had. I obtained it 18 years ago.

Conventional wisdom tells you to keep your oldest card open. They always tell you that closing your oldest account will hurt your credit.

Since I am a Capital One customer, I have access to the credit wise app. I highly recommend this app. It has a simulator that tells you what your credit score would be if you took certain actions, and one of these actions is canceling your oldest credit card.

I simulated what would happen if I canceled this oldest card I have, and it actually suggested that my score would go up about 30 points. I sat on it for about a month. I then decided to just go ahead and cancel it. I really had to argue with some people in India that yes, I am canceling it please cancel, and I will still make payments.

The limit on this card was $1300. It was over the limit when I canceled it, because my last transaction was filling up my gas tank with more available credit than I had. (Another bad habit I need to break).

Ironically, about 30 days later, my credit score increased by 24 points. Conventional wisdom was wrong again.

All of my high-limit capital one cards were opened when I was pregnant 11 years ago. Everyone exaggerated the costs of having a child BIG TIME, and I thought I needed a ton of available credit just to give her the basic needs. When I was pregnant, I opened every credit card offer that came in the mail. Of course, I was getting a lot of them, because it was before college and I was still debt free with an 800 credit score.

How ironic that it wasn’t childrearing that made me max out these cards. It was five years later when I finished college! Isn’t that the opposite of how it’s supposed to go? Having children is supposed to ruin your finances, and getting a degree is supposed to greatly improve them. The opposite happened for me.

That edited screenshot above shows not only how my balance is now $600 even (less than half of what it was when I canceled it), but that on July 20th, I owed almost $300 more than I do today.

On my next paycheck, I will have 50-56 hours of overtime, so even though I do have to pay my consolidator, I may also be able to pay the oldest card completely off.

We’ll see. Everyone harps emergency fund, but I’ll touch on that subject later.