When you pay off a credit card is it better to reduce the credit limit or close the account?
I’ve heard that once you pay off a credit card you shouldn’t close the account to keep a good credit score. I’ve also heard that even though one pays off his credit card reducing the credit limit is also not a good option for keeping a great credit rating. What is the best way to handle this situation if you don’t really want the card around to prevent you from running the balance up, but also don’t want to hurt your credit rating. Is there any way to find out what exactly affects one’s credit score?
Examples: Let’s just say a website or book states something like filing for bankruptcy subtracts XXXX amount of points from your credit rating. Defaulting on credit card payments for XXX amount of months subtracts XXX amount of points from your credit rating. Paying off federal student loans adds or subtracts XXXX amount of points from your credit rating. Also is there anywhere that states how long certain things stay on your credit report?