A banner update and a finance question

This should probably be two posts because the two halves could not possibly be any less related to each other. But whatever. I’ve continued fiddling with the banners I posted yesterday and now I’m looking at this (which I posted to Patreon yesterday!):

Interesting fact: everyone who commented on the blog preferred the banner with the characters, and everyone who commented on Facebook preferred the one with the BA1 cover. This still isn’t final (I need to move the Prostetnic logo up a bit, take the capital letter out of the T in “Trilogies” and maybe change the font on the pull quote) so I’m still open for suggestions if anyone has them.

I paid off a credit card yesterday. Without getting too much more deeply into my business than is strictly necessary, I’ve spent my thirties and the first couple of years of my forties either a) managing or b) putting to bed bad financial decisions I made in my twenties. I have, in other words, more credit card debt than most people. My credit rating is on the high end of average, I think– I don’t miss payments, ever, but I have a lot of open credit and a lot of debt. I would like it to be higher, and I would like for a substantially lower amount of my paycheck to go toward paying off credit cards.

The card I paid off has been paid off before, for the record. The last time I paid it off I didn’t close it, and then I was unemployed for six months and underemployed for two years, so not cancelling it seems, in retrospect, to have been a pretty good decision, because as it turned out the available credit kinda saved me. However, it’s a Bank of America card (one of two I hold, because they bought this card from MBNA) and I kinda hate Bank of America and want to be out from underneath them. It’s *also* my longest continuous line of credit, though– I’ve had this account for over twenty years.

So: is it better for my credit to close the card, thus lowering my overall available credit (which I keep being told is hurting my credit rating) and reducing my dependency on Bank of America, or to hold onto the card with its zero balance, because it’s my longest continuous credit account (which I’m told helps my credit rating) and I can’t predict the future and who knows if I might need it again?

(I’m also not certain how much I need my credit rating to be high right now, for whatever that’s worth. We own our house and aren’t moving anytime soon and I see no reason why I might be applying for anything demanding a credit check any time in the foreseeable future. So maybe I can afford to take a hit right know? Who knows.)

I hate how opaque credit ratings are. There should be a formula I can feed this shit into and get an objective answer and I’m pretty sure even people who know what they’re talking about are gonna be mostly guessing. But if you know more than me, feel free to jump in with advice, because I don’t know shit.

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Luther M. Siler

Teacher, writer of words, and local curmudgeon. Enthusiastically profane. Occasionally hostile.

4 thoughts on “A banner update and a finance question

  1. I can comment on the finance question, being something of a nerd in that arena. Your credit score isn’t just used for credit anymore; it affects how much you pay for insurance, it can affect your job hunt, and probably there are other places it’s used that we don’t even know about. So I still I have my oldest credit card – the one I’ve had since I was 20 or so – in a drawer, even though I haven’t used it in years. I don’t know what my score is but I know it’s high enough to get us the best price on home insurance available from our current insurer.

    I also kinda like the idea of keeping a card from a bank you hate and never using it. It’s like a tease – look at all the money you could be making off me except no I’m not going to use this I’m going to keep it in a drawer ha ha ha. Or maybe that’s just me. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. As a fellow personal finance nerd, I second Elisabeth’s advice. Keep your longest line of credit open, but cut the card up if you hate BOA and don’t want to use it. That way you get the benefit of long term credit without the temptation of giving money to BOA. Also, as long as your debt to credit ratio is good, which it likely is if you paid off this card, then keeping it open is only improving your credit, not hurting it.

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  3. Personally, I wouldn’t close your oldest line. My mom once put her credit card in a bowl of water and put it in the freezer, if you’re looking for creative ways to keep it from being used 😉

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  4. I concur — don’t close that account! That long line of credit really does help. Just cut up the card or put it in a really weird place and forget about it. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

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