There is a common misconception that if you cut up a credit card. your account is cancelled. In reality, the only thing that happens when you cut up your credit card is that the actual card becomes useless; your credit card account will still be up and running.
The following steps will guide you through how to cancel your credit card account.
Step 1 – Telephone the provider
The contact number for the credit card company can usually be found on your monthly credit card statement and on the back on your credit card. If the number isn’t printed on the back of your card, and you no longer receive monthly statements because you haven’t been using your card, you can look for the number online.
When you call the number you will probably be asked to choose from a number of options. Choose the one that is most similar to ‘I want to cancel my credit card’. You will then likely be put through to the ‘Customer Retentions’ department.
Tell the customer-service representative that your credit card balance is £0 and that you wish to cancel the account.
At this stage, you will likely be asked why you want to close your account and may even be offered a lower interest rate or some other type of offer, or possibly even both. If you really want to cancel the card you will have to firmly say that you are not interested in what the company has to offer you at this stage.
Ask for the company to send you written confirmation of your request to cancel your credit account and also ask for the name of someone you can send a follow-up letter to. If you don’t want to ask for a specific name, at least ask for the address.
Step 2 – Follow up call with a letter
Write a brief letter to the card company, to a specific contact if possible, saying you are confirming your telephone request to close your account and that you want your credit report to illustrate that you wanted to
close the account. Include your account number as the ‘Reference’ and also provide your name and address. Keep a copy of the letter for future reference and correspondence.
Be sure to send the letter via recorded delivery so that you can prove that the card company received the letter.
Once the letter has been sent, wait a month.
Step 3 – Check your credit report
This is possibly one of the most important steps in the account closing process.
It can take as long as 30 days for your credit card account to be closed and once this period has passed, it’s time to check your credit report (you can get a free credit report from Experian).
When you look at your credit report you will need to make sure that by the closed credit card account is a phrase that says something like ‘closed at customer’s request’ and not ‘closed by creditor’. If the latter is written it will reflect negatively on you and affect your credit score.
If you check your report and it says that the card company, not you, closed the account, you will need to return to step one of this process. When you write for the second time, include a copy of the letter you sent the first time.
Your credit report is the recorded history of your credit facilities and it’s your responsibility to ensure that it’s correct.
The information contained in your report is submitted to the three main UK credit reference agencies by the individual lenders. However, checking your credit report is accurate is not down to the credit reference agencies, it’s down to you. If you find errors when you check your credit report, the advised course of action is to contact the creditors who will investigate your claim and inform the credit reference agencies of any changes made.
According to experts, you should check your credit report once a year to look for errors that may be harming your credit score and to check that your name isn’t being used by fraudsters to open credit accounts.