How to Close a Credit Card Account

If you want to cancel a credit card account, just know that it is more than just taking a pair of scissors and cutting it in half. Your decision to cancel an account may be because you want to avoid excessive spending, or to protect yourself from fraud, or to just cut out unnecessary cards that are costing you money. However, there are specific steps that you follow when you do make this decision. You want to close the credit card account in a smart way so it causes the least amount of damage to your credit and wallet.

The first step is to call customer service, the number listed on the back of the card. Talk to a representative and express your decision of wanting to close your credit card account. If you hear them trying to persuade you to keep your account open, don’t be surprised. They are only doing their job. They may try to offer a lower interest rate, or give you information about their rewards program. However, if you are certain about wanting to close the account, do not fall into the trap. Stick with your decision!

The next step is to write and send a letter to the credit card company with a letter requesting your credit card to be closed. Include your name, address, and credit card number. Also, make sure you request a hard-close, and not a soft-close. A soft-close means that the new charges can still go through this. You will still be susceptible to fraud and identity theft, which is something you really do not want. If there is a time limit on when you can do a hard-close, make sure you get the information on this. Pay any outstanding balances and ask them to send you a confirmation when your account has been closed.

One of the last steps you should make sure of is to request a “closed by consumer” notation on your credit report. Accounts that are mistakenly marked “closed by creditor” can have a damaging effect on your credit rating. Through this process, do not forget to stay patient and calm. These requests can take a while to process, but don’t ever become careless. Keep notes on who you spoke to through each step, when it happened, and what was said.

Finally, get a confirmation that your account balance is zero. Also, review your credit report to make sure it shows that the credit card is reported as closed. Just double-check all the information so nothing comes up as a surprise to you. You can never be too careful when it comes to decisions such as this one!

Archana Sabesan

Archana Sabesan

Archana Sabesan is a junior at North Carolina State University. She is currently pursuing a major in Psychology, with a primary focus in Child Psychology, and a minor in Spanish. After graduating, she plans to attend graduate school to obtain her PsyD degree in Clinical Psychology. Her experiences at Stanford University and Duke University as an Undergraduate Research Assistant have helped her to develop an effective research regiment and build on her observation skills. She hopes to open a private practice of her own in the future.

Every summer, Archana works at Kumon, a math and reading workshop, tutoring children between the ages of three and 18 in these subjects. She used to be enrolled in this program herself, so this allows her to connect with the students and give them the one-on-one help that they need. Archana is also currently a member of NC State’s Psychology Club, Rotaract Club, and EKTAA (NC State’s premiere South Asian Student Organization).

Archana was born in India, and moved to North Carolina with her immediate family when she was 7 years old. She speaks mostly Tamil, the native language of South India, and English in her home. In addition, having taken Spanish classes since 6th grade, she can speak and understand it pretty well too. Archana enjoys spending time with her family and friends, watching movies, listening to music, and going to the gym. She also loves to travel, and hopes to travel the world one day and learn about all the different cultures!
Archana Sabesan