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Ask Money

Good riddance to bank

Chris Farrell Nov 10, 2010

Question: My wife and I recently moved back to the city after several years in farm country. This was primarily a financial decision, she took a job (I’m a freelance copywriter/creative director and have essentially been out of work for the past two years) and we could no longer afford to carry two mortgages (we’ve rented out our upstate home). Anyway, for various reasons we kept our checking accounts up there but decided we needed one in the city so we opened an account at Citi. But after two weeks or so (in which, among other things, they mislaid one of the checks we deposited) we’re very dissatisfied with the service we’re getting–we find particularly galling how long it takes for checks to clear (to hold onto out of town checks for as long as they do is especially absurd in the digital age). My question is, would closing our account, after so short a period of time, hurt our credit score? Paul, New York, NY

Answer: No. Closing the account shouldn’t have an impact on your credit score. The reason is that the score captures your habits toward debt: How much you borrow and whether you regularly pay the bill on time over time. Your checking account, savings account, and debit card don’t really matter to the calculation.

The one small wrinkle from closing an account that could have a minimal impact on your score is if you have overdraft protection or a line of credit associated with checking account. But if there is an impact it isn’t a big deal. In your case it’s doubtful there will any effect from closure even if you had a line of credit since you’ve been with the bank for such a short period of time.

It’s far more important that you are an unhappy customer. I would take my money and business elsewhere.

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