How To Cancel Your Credit Cards
Close a credit card account securely
In some cases, you may need to close a credit card account. If you don't want to accrue more debt and just don't trust yourself (or a joint cardholder) not to rack up more charges, then you can cancel a credit card so it's not valid for any further purchases or cash advances. However, you should be aware that canceling a credit card may adversely affect your credit rating -- yes, you're protecting yourself from further debt, but your actions also reduce your overall credit limit, which can bring down your score. Even so, it's important that you know how to cancel credit cards because closing accounts and taking a little hit on your credit rating is often better than continuing to add to your debt load.
How to Cancel Credit Cards
Here are the steps you need to follow to cancel a credit card:
- Call the credit card company. You won't be able to do this online, in most cases, as the credit card company will require multiple security clearances to be sure you're authorized to close the account. Have your card number ready; if there are any additional account numbers associated with your account, have these ready as well. They will appear on your monthly paper or online statement.
- Ask to speak to someone with the authority to close your credit card account. When you are connected, explain that you want to close the credit card account.
- Stay firm. These agents are usually trained to try to entice you to keep the account open by offering to raise your credit limit or reduce your interest rates. Insist on closing the account.
- Ask what you need to do to manage any outstanding debt that may remain after you close off the account to new charges. Your account will remain open only to allow you to make payments.
- Get a confirmation for the transaction. This may be a transaction number, or it may come in the form of a formal letter. Repeat this process for each credit card you wish to close.
The only way to outright cancel credit card debt is to declare bankruptcy. This is a last resort that you should only consider if debt settlement, debt consolidation or debt counseling has failed you.