How to protect seniors -- older parents, relatives and loved ones -- who live alone. Tips on what to do in case of an emergency. Safety ideas.

Monday, February 02, 2009


by Don Rose, Writer for Life Alert

Rule 5. Reduce credit card balances, but don’t get rid of zero-balance cards.

It is good to get your card balances down to zero as fast as possible, but resist the urge to get rid of cards once they have no balance. In addition to being a good backup or safety hedge in case of emergencies, your credit score is helped by having cards with small or zero balances. This is because FICO scores take into account the ratio of your total outstanding credit balance (across all cards) to the total amount of all your cards’ credit limits. The smaller this ratio, the better your score. The more zero-balance cards you have, the lower this ratio will be, which is desirable. Having zero-balance cards also shows you can manage credit, unlike folks who have most or all of their cards maxed out.

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