Online bank error's no reason to get rid of credit card

DEAR BRUCE: I paid my credit card through my bank's online service two weeks early. I was surprised that my next statement had a late fee.

My bank claimed to have sent the payment 10 days before the day the credit-card company said it was received, conveniently, one day after the payment was due. This is the second time this has happened — it was three days early the first time, so it could have been the bank's fault. After much complaining, the bank reimbursed the late fees.

Will this affect my credit score?

I am planning to cancel the card in the near future. This was my first credit card, which I've had for two years. How will canceling the card affect my credit? — J.D., via e-mail

DEAR J.D.: Two errors are a bit much to swallow, but mistakes do happen.

There's no blood in the water, so your credit score will not take a hit. You mentioned that you're planning to cancel the card — I would not do that. Canceling a card can affect your credit report.

If you have other cards with an outstanding balance, keeping this card would increase your percentage of used available credit.

Unless there's an annual fee, pay the card, and let it sit there quietly. The credit is available to you, and you've done no injury.

Send your questions to: Smart Money, P.O. Box 2095, Elfers, FL 34680. E-mail to: Questions of general interest will be answered in future columns.

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