Ask Finney: Closing a credit card, text scams, insurance rates

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- 7 On Your Side's Consumer Expert Michael Finney answers your consumer questions.

Question 1:Patrick asks: After bankruptcy, I got approved for a credit card to help build my credit. I pay a maintenance fee of $12.95 a month. Since it's one of my oldest cards, should I keep it? My credit has improved.

Answer 1:You're on the right track to think, keeping older credit cards is better for your credit score. But at that price point, it is probably time to let it go. If you are now largely out of debt, and have a decent credit score, just get a new card to replace it. But be aware, your credit could take a hit, so don't make this move if you are ready to buy a house or car.

Question 2:Linda asks: What's the best way for my elderly mother to respond to text messages that appear as scams?

Answer 2:Ignore it. Not much real news comes by way of text. If she is concerned with a message from a financial institution or a business, she should look up their number online and call.

If you received a text messaging scam, you can file a complaint with The Federal Trade Commission.

Question 3: Anthony asks: What's the best way to look for insurance rates?

Answer 3:Depends on what type of insurance. A good starting point is the California Department of Insurance website. It gives a good overview and lists companies and their basic rates for a wide range of insurance. SelectQuote is a good source for life insurance. Check Covered California for health insurance. SquareMouth for travel insurance. For car insurance, check online and talk with local agents. You spend a lot of money on insurance, so it is worth taking the time to find the right policy for you.
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