In case you missed it from the most recent Money Matters column.
Q: I have several credit cards from Chase. This happened because over the years, I would go to an event (Severance Hall, etc.) where Chase had representatives there promoting their card. They explained you could have more than one card from them -- and we got a free gift immediately! Yay! So now I have four or maybe even five.
I talked to one of their representatives recently and asked if all of my cards could be combined into one or perhaps two. They said no. And, they said each one should be actively used every few months. Of course I could close them, but there would go my credit score.
Is there a way around this? I dont like having several cards.
A: I have to talk first about the last sentence of your email. You said: I dont like having several cards. Well, why did you keep applying for them??? Seriously, we shouldnt be so cavalier about something as important as our credit history that we will apply for a credit card just in exchange for a refrigerator magnet or T-shirt or something.
Do you have unused credit cards? Common sense might tell you, if youre not using them, close them; but our financial expert, Kevin Myeroff, says that can actually hurt your credit score.
There are two parts of a credit card that really effect your credit score. One is the credit utilization ratio, so thats how much credit you have... how much of it are you using?
Myeroff says you want to keep your balance under 30 percent. For example, if you have a $10,000 line of credit, you shouldnt carry a balance of more than $3,000.
Second is credit history, or how long youve been paying on your bill. If you close a card thats old, it could hurt your credit history because youre essentially erasing good credit history.
However, Myeroff says there are some cards you can close.
Cards with a large annual fee. If youre not using cards with a large fee, its not worth paying it every year.
Newer cards. If you get rid of newer cards, you arent erasing your long, positive history.
Cards with unfavorable terms. If you have a card with a balance and a high interest rate, you should switch to a card with a low interest rate.
A Madison man is accused of using stolen credit cards to make purchases, authorities said.
Law enforcement officers arrested a Cape Coral man Thursday they had been investigating for credit card fraud.
Henry Alberto Fernandez-Gomez, 29, was arrested on a dozen charges including forgery, fraud by impersonation and credit card fraud, said Sgt. Dana Coston, spokesman for the Cape Coral Police Department.
Lee County sheriffs deputies and Cape Coral police officers searched the Southeast Second Avenue home of Fernandez-Gomez on a warrant about 6 pm, police said.
During their investigation, members of the departments Economic Crimes Unit and Street Crimes Unit found that he was using bogus credit cards at stores across the county including at Friendly Frankies liquor store and Wal-Mart locations.
He remains in Lee County Jail on a bond of $64,500.