Closing a Credit Card

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by ravenvii, Jun 27, 2013.

  1. ravenvii macrumors 604

    ravenvii

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2004
    Location:
    Melenkurion Skyweir
    #1
    I have a credit card that I no longer use. I'd like to close the account. Is there anything I should know/steps I should follow?

    Googling this question got me an article where the author says to call, then write a letter and all that stuff. Is that really necessary?
     
  2. Shrink macrumors G3

    Shrink

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2011
    Location:
    New England, USA
    #2
    Most CCs have a Customer Service phone number on the back of the card. You should call and notify them you want to close the account.
     
  3. renewed macrumors 68040

    renewed

    Joined:
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    Bemalte Blumen duften nicht.
    #3
    Just to add: ask the company to send you a confirmation letter for your records.
     
  4. ravenvii thread starter macrumors 604

    ravenvii

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    Mar 17, 2004
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    Melenkurion Skyweir
    #4
    That's a good point -- thanks!
     
  5. smithrh macrumors 68020

    smithrh

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    Feb 28, 2009
    #5
    I realize this may not be germane, but closing a CC can impact your credit score.

    Just thought I'd mention it in case you've got some other financial dealings coming up in the near future.

    Note, I'm not saying it's a bad thing to do!
     
  6. Roller macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2003
    #6
    I would do it in writing rather than by phone. This article covers the topic well.
     
  7. MarkG21 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2010
    #7
    Is there an annual fee for your card?? If not, (without knowing your situation) I would leave the card open and just not use it. Closing it will likely impact your score negatively as it will lower your credit utilization.
     
  8. Mousse macrumors 68000

    Mousse

    Joined:
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    Flea Bottom, King's Landing
    #8
    Very true. If you have low credit or bad credit, it's worthwhile to keep the card, even if you don't ever use it. I've closed at least 2 CC in the past. It hasn't affected my credit score too severely. My credit score was in the high 800 before closing those cards. It's still in the 800's.

    If it's a card that was open a decade or more ago, it is best to keep it open. I've kept a card opened 20 years ago although I hardly ever use it. Once a year, I'd use it so they don't close that account. Having a credit history that long looks real pretty on the credit report.
     
  9. ejb190 macrumors 65816

    ejb190

    #9
    Pretty good considering the maximum FICO score is 850...:rolleyes:

    If you are planning on opening a loan for a house or a car in the next year, you might want to leave it open. If not, close it. An open account that you are not actively monitoring can lead to credit fraud or other problems. No use giving criminals an extra way to give you a bad day... (I had credit fraud on brand new cards that I hadn't even activated yet! Thanks CitiBank!)

    Your credit score should rebound completely in about three to four years after closing the accounts.

    For me, close it and don't look back. I don't worship at the alter of the FICO score. If a bank/insurance company/employer/etc. can't look past a number and see who I am, then I don't need them.
     
  10. ravenvii thread starter macrumors 604

    ravenvii

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2004
    Location:
    Melenkurion Skyweir
    #10
    Yes, it IS a credit card opened more than a decade ago. And yes, I AM potentially going to need to obtain loans in the next year.

    There's no annual fees, so guess I'll hang on it until I get approved for that loan, then get rid of it.
     
  11. smithrh macrumors 68020

    smithrh

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2009
    #11
    Good move in not canceling at this point.

    Even if you're closing it for a good reason, your credit score would have been impacted (impossible to know how much without a bunch more info).

    Long term credit lines - like this credit card - carry higher weight.
     
  12. eternlgladiator macrumors 68000

    eternlgladiator

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2010
    Location:
    Twin Cities
    #12
    I used to work at a bank and agree with everyone here. If you don't want to use and it there are no fees, minimums or otherwise then just cut it up and keep it open. It'll never hurt your credit score to have the available balance out there. You want the % available to be as high as possible while also showing a history of on time payments. I'm not sure of the impact but I know when applying for larger loans they can check to see highs and lows and how you reacted to them.
     
  13. thekingofnerds macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2013
    #13
    Well, if you do cancel it make sure you tell them it is "by customer request". If you don't - use it every now and then or they will close it due to inactivity (and it will be marked as such on your credit).

    As far as closing hurting your credit score -

    I'm not sure about larger banks - but I've worked with some credit unions who barely even use credit scores to rate people for loans. They use common sense.

    You can have a terrible credit score, but still be paying all your bills no problem. It's meant to be a guideline, not a rule.
     
  14. kazmac macrumors 601

    kazmac

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    #14
    Thanks, Roller.

    Great article. Thank you for posting the link.
     
  15. 4JNA macrumors 68000

    4JNA

    Joined:
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    looking for trash files
    #15
    if you got it, keep it.

    good move. free FTW. available credit to debt matters when it comes to scores/loans. time open also matters, and 10 years is a decent start.

    haven't seen it come up yet, but if you really do plan to close it, make REALLY sure that there are no recurring/auto charges that are still linked to this account.

    my experience, i had a gym membership tied to a credit card. cancelled the gym membership (legit, letter, all done) and about 6 months later closed the credit card (legit, letter, all done). about 6 months after that (1 year later for those keeping score at home) the gym sent a charge for 20 something dollars to the closed card, which posted the charge on the now closed account. fast forward 10 years to me buying my first home, and the 4 months of hell that i went through trying to clear that up with the 3 eff-ing credit agency system that we endure here in the US of A.

    double check, have it in writing, keep hard copies of everything, and then check again. just my two cents. oh yeah, and never do business with Bally Fitness, Discover, or TransUnion. they are incompetent ******s. just my two cents.

    hey, and best of luck!
     
  16. Mousse macrumors 68000

    Mousse

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2008
    Location:
    Flea Bottom, King's Landing
    #16
    I second that. One of the CC I closed was a Discover Platinum. I never got the advertized "cash back bonus" and it was a hassle dealing the them. This was 12 years ago. Who know, they might have changed their ways. I'm not about the waste any time finding out.
     
  17. designs216, Jul 15, 2013
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2013

    designs216 macrumors 65816

    designs216

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2009
    Location:
    Down the rabbit hole
    #17
    Another reason to keep it open would be if one of the OP's other card issuers decides to fire him, this account (assuming a zero balance) will help keep the available credit to debt ratio positive. This goes out the window of course if there is a possibility that the OP would be tempted to run the card up again. In that case, the card is toxic and should be closed.

    One point I forgot to make earlier, store cards (Sears, Best Buy, etc) don't help your score that much so if that's the source of temptation, go ahead feed it to the shredder.
     

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