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Credit Card Help Advertiser Disclosure. With care, you can close an without hurting your credit score. Author: Fred O. Editor: Brady Porche. Reviewer: Barri Segal. Anyone can take scissors to a credit card, but it takes skill to cancel a card without nicking your credit score. Filed Under:. The content on this is accurate as of the posting date; however, some of our partner offers may have expired.
Before you pick up your scissors, though, know this: Canceling a credit card the right way involves more than simply snipping it in two. It requires you to follow specific steps to close the credit card for good — with the least damage to your credit score. The first question to ask yourself before canceling a card is: Do you really need to cancel it?
Or would it be better to just put it away and not use it? Having an available line of credit on a card with no balance always helps your credit score, and it could come in handy in an emergency or if its terms improve in the future. Before closing any credit cardyou need to consider the possible effect on your credit score.
In the case of open s, positive credit data can stay on the credit report indefinitely. Closed s with zero balances and no associated negative information typically remain on a credit history for 10 years from the date they are reported closed. Most bad marks on your credit report have a quicker expiration date. Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, negative data such as late payments and foreclosures must come off the credit report after seven years. In addition, potential lenders take into the amount of credit still in use once a card and its associated credit limit gets canceled.
Essential re, delivered weekly. By providing my address, I agree to CreditCards. Depending on your total available credit, closing a credit card with a high credit limit could hurt your credit score, particularly if you have high balances on other cards or loans. However, experts say this step may be unnecessary for most people. The age of a credit card is also an important consideration. So, closing an older in theory could have a more negative impact. How negative? So, for one person, closing an older can represent higher risk than it does for another person solely because of the unique nature of their overall credit histories.
If you are young and have a short credit history, closing the could hurt your overall credit score more than if you were someone in their 50s who has a much longer credit history. Provided you have considered these issues and have another credit card you can make charges on, you are ready to cancel your credit card. Closing an the right way takes a little time, patience and organization. As you go through the process of canceling your credit card, you may want to keep thorough notes on who you spoke to, what they said and when. That way, if anything goes wrong, you will have all the facts recorded.
Use the following steps to cancel your credit card the right way. In the case of rewards cardsit is common to lose some accrued rewards when a card is closed, and this may be unavoidable. But with planning, it should be possible to minimize the loss. If you are unable to apply them to travel or merchandise, you may be able to take accumulated miles or points as a statement credit. Cash back credit cards generally have the easiest redemption features.
A few cash-back programs award accrued cash only once a year, on a predetermined schedule. Knowing the rules for redemption will allow you to plan how to capture built-up rewards before you cancel the card. Pay off your credit card in full or, if you can find a balance transfer card with better terms, transfer the balance.
If you normally carry a balance from one month to another, you will need to pay the full statement balance two months in a row to wipe out the balance and stop further interest charges from accruing. Do not assume that the balance is zero because you paid the total amount on your most recent bill. While some credit card companies will allow you to cancel without even speaking to a representative, others may be less obliging.
If you are met with resistance, hold firm. It is your right to close the. Tell the rep you want it noted that the is being closed at your request. Ask for a name and address you can write to with a notice of your card cancellation and note this along with the call details, including date, time and a way to identify the representative you spoke to. For added insurance in case the customer service rep makes a mistakewrite a short cancellation letter to the card issuer.
The letter should include your name, address, phone andand details from your earlier phone call. Along with the letter, include the check or a copy of the canceled check or other payment verification that you used to pay off your balance. Make a copy of the letter for your records. Send the letter via certified mail or with return receipt requested, so you can prove the company received your letter.
Then sit tight. Getting the card canceled may take a month or more. You can pull a free copy of your credit report once a year from each of the top three credit bureaus Equifax, Experian and TransUnion at AnnualCreditReport. If the appears open, repeat the process: Call the customer service to report the mistake, follow up with a letter by certified mail including a copy of your original letter requesting that the be closed and then check your credit report again.
If that fails, you can file a dispute through one of the three credit bureaus they are required to notify the others. After documenting the cancellation process and making sure that your credit report reflects the closedyou are finally free to discard your credit card. If you do decide to pick up the scissors, make sure that you are cutting each bit of information including your cardCVV, expiration date and ature. The editorial content on this is based solely on the objective assessment of our writers and is not driven by advertising dollars. It has not been provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers.
However, we may receive compensation when you click on links to products from our partners. Fred O. Williams is a former senior reporter for CreditCards. The offers that appear on this site are from companies from which CreditCards. This compensation may How to cancel your credit card how and where products appear on this site, including, for example, the order in which they may appear within listing.
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Advertiser Disclosure. Summary Anyone can take scissors to a credit card, but it takes skill to cancel a card without nicking your credit score. Filed Under: Uncategorized. How to cancel your credit card want to cancel your credit card. How to cancel a credit card the right way in 7 steps Find the of the customer service department you need to contact Redeem any remaining rewards Pay off any remaining balance Call your bank Send a letter requesting card closure, just to be sure Check your credit report to confirm the cancellation Dispose of your card properly after confirming cancellation.
Your credit cards journey is officially underway. Editorial Disclaimer The editorial content on this is based solely on the objective assessment of our writers and is not driven by advertising dollars. In Other News. Credit Card Rate Report. National Average Low Interest Business Balance Transfer Airline How to cancel your credit card Cash Back Reward Student Instant Approval Bad Credit Questions or comments?.
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How To Cancel A Credit Card