Unused credit can be a good thing for your credit score. Credit scoring models generally favor consumers who don’t use too much of their available credit at any given time. A credit card that you never use, though, can become a problem under certain circumstances. Don’t be caught off guard if you never use your credit card.
Credit scores and unused credit
Credit scoring models generally do not penalize consumers for not using their credit cards, and some untapped credit is typically a plus for your credit score. However, credit scoring models generally reward consumers for responsible use of credit cards. Additionally, not using your credit card can be the wisest thing to do, depending on your financial situation. You should not feel obligated to use a credit card just because you have it.
Where there’s some risk
Be aware that a credit card issuer may cancel an inactive account. This is a situation that could negatively affect your credit score since cancelled accounts reduce your available credit. Another point to consider is that if you don’t use your card, the issuer might stop sending updates on the account to the major credit reporting agencies, which could negatively affect your credit score as well.
What to do with inactive cards
It may be better to make occasional use of your credit cards than to allow them sit idle for months on end. It may also be better to keep them active than to cancel them altogether. Consider if you should use your inactive card for an occasional small purchase. Using at least some of your credit, and paying off the balance on time, tells the credit reporting bureaus you’re being financially responsible.