Dear Dave, We've paid off most of our credit cards. My wife doesn't want to pay all of them off, though. She says it's a good idea to have open cards and a high score on your credit report to show that you're creditworthy. I want them out of our lives completely. What do you think? Wayne Dear Wayne, I think it depends a lot on the goal you have in mind. If your goal is to stay in debt for a really long time, then by all means keep a credit card open. If your goal is to get out of debt and stay out of debt, then what does it matter if your credit score goes down? My FICO score is zero, and I could probably buy the FICO company for cash! A credit score is really nothing more than an "I Love Debt" score. It isn't based on how "worthy" you are, how much you have, or how much you make. It's based on the fact that you got into debt, stayed there for a long time, and paid creditors a lot of unnecessary money. I stopped borrowing and paying back debt 20 years ago. As a result, my credit score gradually deteriorated to the point where it doesn't even exist anymore. FICO will love you if you're always in debt and making payments, but you'll never be able to take care of your family, retire with dignity, or make a difference in the world through giving. Close the accounts, Wayne. Cut up the cards and pay cash for everything! You can't worship at the altar of the great FICO if you want to get out of debt, and stay out of debt! - Dave * For more great advice from Dave, please visit www.davesays.org.
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