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With annual fees and interest rates on credit cards, you may be wondering whether to close out an account you're not using.  Some are also concerned about identity theft as well as the need to simply control the amount of debt.  Whatever your reason for considering closing a credit card account, here are some things to consider:

If you close out a credit card that has an unpaid balance on it, your available credit (or credit limit) on that card goes to zero.  Your credit score looks at the amount of debt you have, so even if you have closed out the credit card account, it may appear that you have maxed out the credit limit on the account.  This will have a negative impact on your credit score.

If you don't have any other loans or credit cards, it may be wise to leave your credit card account open.  Your credit score looks at the different types of credit you have. 

If you have a good payment history on the credit card account, this will help your credit score.  This is especially important if you have a poor payment history on other accounts or loans.

If you have had the credit card for a long period of time, this is also good for your credit score.  A longer credit history can mean a higher credit score.

Before deciding to close a credit card, take a look at your credit report and see whether closing the account may impact your score. By law you are entitled to one free credit report each year from the three credit reporting bureaus. For a copy of your credit report, go to AnnualCreditReport.com.  There is a fee to obtain your credit score but when you order it with your free annual credit report, the cost is often lower.

For more information about your credit score and other credit-related matters, go to MyFICO.com