Thinking of cutting the credit card? Things to consider before you do

Canceling a credit card can impact credit score

SAN ANTONIO – As if stealing millions of people's Social Security numbers, birth dates and addresses wasn't enough, the Equifax thieves also got access to more than 200,000 credit card numbers.

For those impacted, they may be thinking of canceling those credit cards, but Consumer Reports said there are some things to consider.

Consumer Report's money editor, Nikheel Hutheesing, said there are times when you might not want to cancel a line of credit -- like those who are planning to apply for a mortgage.

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“One of the things that bankers look for is our credit utilization ratio," Hutheesing said.

The CUR is essentially the balance someone owes on their credit cards compared to the amount they can actually borrow. Lenders like this number to be less than 30 percent. So if an account is canceled at an inopportune time, people risk looking less attractive as a candidate. People may want to keep the card if it's the only one you have because lenders look for credit diversity.

"Like an installment loan, a credit card, a store card and if you cancel the one credit card that you have, that's going to reduce your mix and it's not going to look as good," he said.

READ MORE: How the Equifax data breach happened: What we know now

People may also want time on their side, so if they choose to cancel one of several cards, Hutheesing said ax the newest.

Folks may want to consider closing a card they never use if it has an annual fee, but if there is no fee, Hutheesing said just keep the accounts open.

"Your best bet with a credit card is to stick in in your drawer and just put it away if you’re not going to use it," he said.

Canceling a credit card will impact a credit score for about six months.