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Then, once you've finished, request written confirmation that your card was closed, and then review your credit report after a few weeks to double-check that it was done.Malani suggests pulling your report for free once a year at Annual Credit "Don’t open a [store] card to save on a 0 purchase [because] you’ll spend all the savings and more with their marketing gimmicks."Not only do store cards have high interest rates, she notes, but they constantly market to their cardholders, making it incredibly tempting to go wild shopping for "bargains," when you might not have done that if you didn't have the card at all.A store credit card is sometimes the first credit card that many people have, making things even more confusing."[But] having a few cards — more than one — is good for your credit utilization ratio (CUR), which is a major factor of your credit score."Your CUR is calculated by looking at the amount of credit you're using, and dividing it by the amount of credit that is available to you.For example, if you have three credit cards with a cumulative limit of ,000 and you've charged a total of ,000 across your cards, your CUR is 30%."In general, the less of your credit you're using, the better," she says.Most financial experts will suggest paying off credit cards with the highest interest rates first.See also: Should you use savings to pay off credit card debt?
If it worked, we wouldn't have millions of individuals and families who are following this advice still deep in debt.One big problem with the standard "pay down your high-rate debt first" advice is that you barely see your balances budge.That's terribly disheartening for most consumers month after month."So, 30% or less is good, 20% or less is better, 10% or less is best, [but] it's not like if you do 31%, it's horrible and 30% is fine."So this is one area where having multiple cards might be beneficial: If you have a large balance spread out among a few cards (for example, one with a lower or temporarily no interest rate), you might have an easier time paying it down.Or, if you want to take a big trip, Weston adds, spreading the cost over several different cards and paying them off in full is another way to keep your credit utilization down so that your scores can continue to grow."We don’t really like clients to open store cards unless they are making a large enough purchase to really warrant the discount, like buying a sofa," she says.