It is important to understand how open accounts affect your credit score because it may make a difference at the time of qualifying for a loan or other financial product. Open Lines of Credit and outstanding accounts do not necessarily affect your credit score positively or negatively and thus you should be well aware of what makes them beneficial or turns them into a drawback.
It also will depend on the model of credit assessment whether an open account affects your credit score negatively or not. This means that for some lenders an open account will equal a negative factor and for others it may be positive. Thus, finding a balance may be difficult but it is not impossible provided that you understand how to maintain some sort of equilibrium between open accounts and the balances on them.
Open Accounts And Lines Of Credit: Too Many, Too Few
This seems to be an endless and incredible discussion. There is of course (as you've probably guessed) no agreement as to what is too many or too few in terms of open accounts and lines of credit. Some credit counselors will throw at you approximate numbers and formulas but truth is that no system will determine a method applicable to all borrowers and all account types and balances.
And there is a reason for this: Whether ten open accounts are too many or too few depends on your background and financial situation. If you are an entrepreneur with good income, chances are that you'll need to have several accounts and lines of credit open and lenders will acknowledge that as normal. But if you are an employee, with a modest income there is no reason for you to have too many open accounts and lines of credit.
The Balance Issue On Your Accounts And Lines Of Credit
The issue of the balance on your accounts and lines of credit is also an important factor. The number of open accounts that you have is not the only problem but also the amount of money you owe on them and even the amount of money that is available to you. For some lenders, the fact that you can withdraw the amount at any time is the same as if you had already borrowed it.
High balances on your accounts will affect your credit score negatively but only if you have many open accounts with high balances. A single high balance account won't cause any damage as long as it remains current and you don't miss payments or pay late. As you can see, only the combination of high balances and too many open accounts can imply a serious risk to your credit worthiness.
It's important that you don't go ahead and start closing accounts because that can also affect your score negatively. Keeping Lines of Credit open guarantees that your credit report is up to date and that it can be accessed by lenders which will obtain valuable information. But if you have bad credit and need to obtain a bad credit loan, consider analyzing whether you have too many open accounts or lines of credit with a high balance or not.