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Q.

The Nest Q&A

Do you think I should close a credit card account that I recently paid off?

A.

It's best to keep the account open but not use the card. Credit scores are partially based on a “utilization ratio”—the amount of debt versus the amount of available credit. Try to keep that below 30 percent. Reducing the percentage will help your credit score, plus it'll qualify you for better rates later on. But don't leave five or six cards open, even if they're paid off. Keep two and close the rest. Cut ‘em up, just in case!