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What is Credit Age and Why It Matters

July 3, 2017

Credit age represents the length of your credit history. It makes up 15 percent of your credit score. If you’ve maintained a good credit history for a long period of time, you’re more reliable than someone who’s been housekeeping for a shorter period.  

How credit age is measures varies according to scoring models. Some take the average age of your open accounts, and others simply calculate the age of your oldest open account.

Think Twice Before Closing an Account

It’s generally beneficial to keep your oldest account open. Whatever that brings down the average age of your accounts can drop your score. You might be closing an older account or opening a new one without knowing the consequence.

For those of you just starting out, be patient and plan to grow your card for years to come. For those with a lengthy account, think carefully before closing an old account. Refer to this useful article on which credit cards you shouldn’t close.

Credit History is More Important Than Credit Age

Of course, the bigger factor in question is how good your credit history is. The length of your account isn’t going to help your credit score much if your account is full of derogatory marks and late payments.

Bottom Line

Your primary concern should be keeping a healthy credit history, and making sure you’re paying everything on time each month. But the age of your credit is something you should consider when you’re deciding whether or not to close an account or open a new one.