“How To” Steps to Properly Canceling a Credit Card

Did you know that canceling a credit card can negatively impact your credit score? Fifteen percent of your score is based on your credit history.

By following a few best practices recommended by creditcards.com, you can avoid problems.

  • Pay off your balance. It is better to pay off the card’s balance before notifying the credit card company to close your account.
  • Contact credit card companies by phone. Keep records of names, dates and times when speaking to customer service representatives. Verify your account balance is zero, and be prepared for offers to talk you out of canceling.
  • Written notification. After contacting the credit card company by phone, send a letter requesting that your account be closed and the card issuer report the closed account to the credit bureau as a “customer request.” Include your name, address and account number.
  • Check your credit report. You can receive a free credit report once per year online at www.annualcreditreport.com, or call (877) 322-8228. Verify the closed account reflects that it was “customer requested.”