| October 25, 2010

Old company credit cards could help credit rating

Most stores offer company credit cards, advertising discounts and special deals that can be enticing to consumers.

However, a new report suggests when these stores go out of business, consumers could be able to increase their credit rating.

Due to a provision of The Fair Credit Reporting Act, passed in 1970, credit history must be verifiable in order to affect consumer credit – a provision which could lead the card’s credit history to expire along with the business, according to the New Jersey Star-Ledger. Defunct companies can’t verify this data, which could be good for those whose card history paints a rough financial picture.

Consumers with poor credit records can remove this blemish from their reports, while those with strong track records can simply keep these credit marks as reinforcement of their positive payment histories, according to the report.

Closing these accounts won’t impact credit scores either, as these cards don’t factor into consumer credit utilization ratios – a crucial indicator for credit scores, the Ledger reports.

Removing old cards is no substitute for good credit, however, and while it can have positive benefits, is not likely to dramatically alter a poor credit history.

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