Help! They Closed My Credit Card Because I Didn't Use It!

Reader Kevin is upset with WaMu because they closed his credit card due to inactivity. Had he known they were going to do this, he says he would have been happy to pay a small fee to keep it open, etc. The card is the oldest one on his credit report — and closing it has affected his FICO score.

Kevin wrote an EECB to WaMu asking that his card be reinstated, after a customer service person told him it had been closed because he was a security risk. He cc’d us, let’s listen in…

… I have been going through my mail and have discovered that Washington Mutual has decided to cancel my WaMu MasterCard simply because I have not used it and do not owe anything. In essence, since you haven’t made any money off of me in the past year, you’ve terminated our business relationship.

Surprised by this, I called up your customer service a few minutes ago to inquire about the cancellation.

Please imagine my surprise when your customer service agent explained to me that I was seen as a security risk because I had not used my card in a year. Yes, that’s correct, if I’m not actively using the card and therefore taking out more money than I can pay back, I’m a security risk.

According to Bankrate’s “Dr. Don,” a “security risk” isn’t exactly what WaMu thinks you are. What you are is unprofitable and hard to predict.

Having an account closed for inactivity is a risk when you play favorites with your credit cards. It’s a business decision for the lender. The card provider had an obligation to make an unsecured loan to you at any point in time…. You never took them up on any part of that offer, so they closed the account. It makes perfect sense from the lender’s perspective. It freed up the capacity to extend credit to another cardholder that might actually make them some money.

As far as your credit score goes, there’s not a lot you can do about your credit history shortening — but if you’re concerned about your utilization ratio (how much available credit you have compared to your debt) — you can apply for another card, or ask the your limits be raised on the rest of your cards. Just make sure to use them once in a while. For more information, check out this article from Bankrate.

Good luck.

(Photo: stirwise )