Dave Says: Paying Down Credit Cards -- When To Close Your Accounts

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Posted: Apr 30, 2019 10:30 AM
Dave Says: Paying Down Credit Cards -- When To Close Your Accounts

Source: AP Photo/Matt Rourke

Dear Dave,

I’ve started following your plan, and I’ve got a beginner emergency fund of $1,000 saved. Now that I’m ready to start paying off debt in Baby Step 2, do you recommend paying off credit card balances before or after closing the accounts?

Maeve

Dear Maeve,

I’m really proud of you. Congratulations on starting the journey toward getting out of debt and gaining control of your money!

Honestly, either way is fine. The point is to get rid of them, and stop using the stupid things. I like the idea, and the finality, of going ahead and closing the accounts and cutting up the cards. Personal finance is 80 percent behavior. Getting credit cards—and credit card debt—out of your life is a great first step in really learning to behave with your money. 

Remember, you don’t build wealth or save money by using credit cards. And you’re naïve if you think you’re going to play around with a multi-billion-dollar industry and beat them at their own game. The only way to win against credit card companies is by refusing to play around with them!

—Dave