If you’re considering closing a bank account, you might be wondering how it will affect your credit. The answer to that is: It depends on the type of bank account you close.
If you are considering switching banks to take advantage of banking services at a new bank or a promotional account offer, you might want to close your old account. That in itself won’t ding your credit, but if you have any overdrafts you haven’t paid for — or the associated fees — it very well could.
Closing a checking or savings account is less likely to affect your credit than closing a credit card, which might have a big impact on your credit score. Remember that if you want to qualify for a mortgage or a car loan, your credit score matters to lenders.
Does Closing a Checking Account Affect Your Credit Score?
If you are considering closing your checking account so you can open a new one at another bank, you probably won’t have to worry about it affecting your credit if you’ve been a responsible customer.
“Closing a checking account, or any deposit account for that matter, won’t affect your credit score because it’s not a loan product,” said Mike Christian, assistant vice president of savings and checking at Navy Federal Credit Union.
When you close a bank account, it must be in good standing — or you might be looking at a credit score ding. Mismanagement of bank accounts could result in your being added to a consumer reporting agency such as ChexSystems of Telecheck, which could impact your ability to get another account at your bank or other banks.
Closing an account that has overdrafts and outstanding fees might result in your balance being sent to a collection agency, which will appear on your credit report. When you do close a checking account, remember to cancel your automatic online bill payments so that you don’t end up with any late payments that also could eventually hurt your credit.
Will Closing a Credit Card Account Affect Your Credit Score?
Closing a credit card can definitely impact your credit score. Here’s how to mitigate the damage:
- Keep your oldest credit card open even if it has a higher interest rate because closing your oldest car will shorten your credit history, which can result in your credit score dropping. You don’t have to use the card — just don’t close it out.
- Closing a credit card can increase how much of your available credit you’re using, which can lower your credit score. Ideally, you should keep the amount of credit you’re utilizing below 35 percent. This credit utilization ratio is often used as a factor in determining your loan eligibility.
- Closing out several credit accounts at once could negatively affect your credit, so if you need to close a few cards, make sure you space the closures out.
- Once you start closing accounts, check your credit report to ensure your credit card account is closed. It might take up to 60 days for it to show as closed on your report.
Check Out: How to Check Your Credit Score
Check with both your checking account provider and your lenders to ensure that all of your online bill payments are processed correctly after you transition accounts. If you’re a customer in good standing, you might be able to get fees waived if a payment inadvertently slipped through the cracks when you were transitioning your automatic payments from an old checking account to a new one.