Does Just Opening a Credit Card and NEVER EVER using it AT ALL, help you credit score?

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Hello, Today I went in to re-finance an auto loan with my lender(wells fargo) and was “stumped” on something the financial agent was trying to explain to me, to the point of so much pressure I had to walk out and smoke a cigarette….The guy told me my credit score was “760” but i should really be at “800” for future things to help me out on getting a lower interest rate on things such as a house/car/ ect(which dosent take a genus to figure out but he told me anyway)….Now i realize he was trying to educate me, and I do know if I had a better credit score I would have better options….But, the thing I didn’t understand was, the guy was trying to get me to open a visa credit card through their the point where he kept asking me “WHY”, “WHY WOULDN’T YOU WANT TO HELP YOUR CREDIT SCORE?”, …(Now I know they care about customers but deep down im sure the guy couldn’t give less of a shit about me, and was just trying to fulfill a contest prize or something….get 10 credit card sign ups and get a gift card or something stupid like that).. Now I know if you cancel a credit card that you had for a long time in good standard, your not doing yourself a favor and its actually better to keep it open with a zero or low balance for the long run and just show use once in a while…I got that part……But, he explained to me that even if i open the credit card….and just cut it up as soon as i got it, or put it away and never even use it once at all, that this would help my credit score….Now, i mite be wrong but this is why im asking…. How does opening a credit card and never showing any use, never not even 1 purchase, help my credit score? Ive even had company’s shut my credit cards down themselves because of no activity for long periods, so i logically couldn’t see how this was going to help me if i never use it…..I cant see how this could be possible….but in the credit card world, and credit advisory world i have no knowledge….so if someone could please help me reason this out….did i do the wrong thing? I told the guy theres a fine line between trying to get me to sign up, and harrasment….because he did go on and on for approx an hour in hounding me to try to get to sign up…..i know we all have different approaches but this i felt was overboard……anyway, I thought you actually had to use it at least a little bit and pay it down/off to gain some kind of credit…this is what made me feel as if there was an incentive, as if the guy gets so many credit card’s opened up and he gets a $ 100 gift card or something like that, there was that much pressure….Anyway thank you for your time, any answers are appreciated.

  1. Reply
    timothy p
    July 21, 2011 at 12:39 am

    do you carry a balance on your other cards? If so, another card with no balance will lower the ratio of debt to available credit. This accounts for 30% of your score. I wouldn’t open a credit card if I didn’t need to though. Most banks consider any score over 720 to be prime. Even the ones that don’t consider anything over 750 prime. 760 is a good enough score to get a really good rate at most banks. If they tell you different they are being dishonest.

    I don’t like high pressure sales pitches either. That is exactly what that was…

  2. Reply
    Jose V
    July 21, 2011 at 12:55 am

    length of credit history is a factor, but if you never use it they will most likely close your account and then your credit will take a huge hit. just keep paying your cards to a point where they are at less than 30% of their limit and you are fine.

  3. Reply
    July 21, 2011 at 1:03 am

    You can use this credit monitoring service to pre-estimate future scores for different scenarios of such payments –

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