No. of Recommendations: 0
Does anyone out there know? Does too many open accounts bring my credit score down?

I don't know yet. [. . .] At that point I will be able to answer your question."

Thanks to all answers so far. Wow you Motley Fools are great. How cool is it for so many strangers to share their opinions and experiences? Makes me want to be a nicer guy. I'm working on it.

I did continue researching my question and came upon an online brochure at that specifically said closing old accounts with zero balances will not increase your FICO score. So there may be some upper limit for number of accounts but I bet it's tied to new accounts more than just sheer number. And it's not like I have hundreds, I have maybe a dozen.

I would still be interested in your experiment with your own FICO score GrootMeister. I will have to subscribe to one of those monitoring services and watch mine too. I will be relocating and needing to purchase a house in the next year or two and I should do what I can to raise it up before then. Thanks for the tips on that too.

My tendency is to worry about "going to the well too often" when people are being so generous but from reading through the recent history, the group welcomes just about any on topic (and even some off topic) questions and comments. I can and will dig into the voluminous reading material on these boards and the Motley Fool site too, but while I have so many smart people who enjoy helping, let me pose another question:

When is it smart to put credit card debt on a second mortgage?
The reason I wonder is while I have let my balances skyrocket to dangerous levels (I understand such behaviour is anathema to members of this board, I know I'm weak) the rates I have them on are just great. That's kind of why I let them stay there for so long was I didn't want to cash in mutual funds or stock market holdings to pay them off. One needs to consider the rate that the credit card debt is at, doesn't one?

My situation.
4,000 sq ft home worth about 280,000
First Mortgage: 195,000 blaance 3.625% 1440 payment (incl tax and ins)
HELOC: 45,000 balance, 9.5%, $400 payment
CC 1: 15,500, 3.9%, $300
CC 2: 13,000, 2.9%, $400
CC 3: 13,000, 6.9%, $300
CC 4: 5,000, 4.9%, $100

That rate on the HELOC is tied to the prime rate so it keeps going up. But when I was shopping around for fixed second mortgages, the rate wasn't any better. The only advantage I would have is I could increase the amount of access I get to the equity.

I was wondering what the consensus is here. If it's the smart thing to do to refi the HELOC and move the credit card debt to a larger HELOC or 2nd mtg. Or should I stay where I am at the low rates and just work really hard to get my balances down?

Thanks again,

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