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How to Cancel a Credit Card

There are several important issues to consider if you’d plan to request the cancellation of your credit card. First, you have to differentiate between temporary and permanent credit card cancellation. The first could be requested in case of emergency if, for example, the credit card has been lost or stolen.

Temporary credit card cancellation takes immediate effect that lasts for a certain period of time, until the cardholder is issued another credit card with identical details and balance. With permanent credit card cancellation, the cardholder declares that he is no longer willing to use the credit card in the future. He or she may have applied for a better credit card deal or because the person simply does not need a credit card anymore.

Pay off Your Debt

To prevent a possible damage to your credit score that may come with a request for credit card cancellation, you should never try to cancel a credit card before you have paid off all the balance on that card. If you are planning to cancel a credit card, you’d better take the card out of your wallet or purse. Put it to rest in the cupboard until all the balance is paid off. Only after that, will you be able safely file a request for its cancellation.

Call Your Credit Card Issuer

If you want to cancel a credit card in order to lower your debt ratio (and apply for consumer or housing loan), you should first shop around a little and find the loan that best meets your needs for financing. This done, you have to call your credit card company and tell them that you wish to have your credit card cancelled. Usually, the call centre’s number is printed at the back of your credit card, and it may also appear in your statement. Once again, you may call the issuer only after you’ve paid all the balance on the credit card. Frankly speaking, the customer care operator with your credit card company will not be very happy to hear that you don't wish to use their financial services any longer. He or she will invariably try to talk you into changing your mind. So, if you've truly and wholeheartedly decided to have your card cancelled, be prepared to defend your position.

Write a Formal Letter to Your Issuer

Once you’ve notified your credit card issuer over the phone, you need to write a letter that confirms your wish not to use the card any longer. In this letter, you need to state your wish to have the account closed, and you have to provide your full name, address and account number.

Check Your Credit Report for Inaccuracies

Your request for a credit card cancellation will take effect in one month. After that, you have to check and make sure that your credit report reflects the fact that the account has been closed at costumer’s request. In this case, the credit card is written off your debt ratio. If, by some hapless flow of circumstances, your credit card issuer has reported that your account has been closed by the credit card company, you have to act quickly to clear this misunderstanding, as it may cast a heavy blow on your credit record.

Finally, keep in mind that it is your own responsibility to check your credit report for inaccuracies and problems related to identity theft every year. You can make a request for a free of charge credit report at some of the major credit bureaus. There are Equifax, Trans Union, and Experian.