I cancelled a bunch of credit cards a couple of years ago and my
credit score's quite high.
One thing, though, is that it seems to have gone up when the one loan
I did have went away. It was a 0% loan for the purchase of some
equipment, but it was somewhat incorrectly reported as a fully-tapped
credit line (which hurts your credit). When I paid it off my score
went up. Of course the cash I used to pay it off was no longer
available to me, so my actual financial situation didn't change.
In theory one's credit score is a somewhat accurate reflection of your
debt-paying ability but that's on average- it's still got a lot of
1. They don't know how much money you have- you could have a million
dollars in investments, or no savings. They also probably don't know
what your house is worth, or even that you might own three or four of
2. Having more credit (unused cards, for example) is seen as a
positive. In theory this is good for them because it's a source of
cash if you need to pay other debts- borrowing from Peter to pay Paul
is okay if you're Paul-- but it's stupid because if people get into
financial trouble they will max out their credit cards.
3. They have no way of knowing how secure your employment is, nor how
much your income varies from year to year in the same job.
4. They don't really even know how much you make. Sure, the credit
card companies ask you- but they rarely if ever check (I know because
they have always asked for my work phone # and only once did someone
call to check, a long time ago, and whom did they ask? ME!).
A friend of mine got a high credit limit because he was self-employed
and they asked his household income. He took their question literally-
he was living in a house with about a dozen other people, so he gave
them a high number.
To answer your question- if you have enough other credit you're not
using, cancel away. Although if you're about to get a mortgage you
might not want to change anything right now.