Can closing a credit account actually hurt your credit score?

Since closing an account lowers the amount of available credit you have, the answer could be yes.  If you already have many accounts open with a healthy amount of available credit spread among them, the effect will be minimal.   But if you have only a small number of accounts, you’d be wise to open a new account, with a similar or better credit limit, before closing the old one.  Otherwise, to protect your score, just keep that old account open—even if you have no intention of using it.

…for more details, read Liz Weston’s column in the L.A. Times: