Canceling Your Student Credit Card
By: Larry Goldberg
If you’re like most students, as soon as you hit campus, you applied for one or more credit cards. The time may come, though, when you want to cancel a few of those cards. There are several steps to take in the process of canceling a credit card. Before you do, though, make sure that you’re doing the right thing. Experts suggest canceling a card in which you still hold a balance just isn’t a good idea because the card issuer may change your APR after you’ve paid off the balance. Moreover, canceling a student credit card account that you’ve built positive credit history with isn’t a good idea either, as once you’ve opened the account, the damage is done to your credit report. Canceling it doesn’t change that damage, and new lenders will see the cancelled account as problematic.
If you’ve still decided that now is the time to cancel that credit card, your first step is to contact the company. Give them a call, and don’t be surprised if they attempt to talk you into staying with the company. Get the name of the person you’re speaking with, and try to get a name and an address of someone who you can send a follow-up letter to in order to ensure that your account has actually been closed. Don’t forget to be sure that the person on the phone notes that the account was closed at your request, not at the request of the company. If it appears on your credit report that the account was closed by the creditor, you could have problems getting more credit cards in the future. In most cases, the company will send you a follow-up letter in just a matter of days, but just to be sure, it’s time to move on to step two.
The next step is to send your own follow-up letter to the company. Get the name of a person to send it to directly, and be sure to state (in the letter) that you are terminating the account, and that you want your credit report to reflect the fact that you wanted to close the account. Offer them your name, your mailing address, and the number of the account you wish to close. Don’t drop it in the mailbox just yet, though. In order to ensure your letter reaches its destination, use certified mail. You could also request a return receipt. Should you ever have a problem, you can at least prove the company got your written communication.
Your last step is to play the waiting game. Give your credit card company at least thirty days before you pull a copy of your credit report to ensure that everything is correct. If there’s a mistake, be sure to contact the credit bureau to get your repot cleaned up.
Opening student credit card accounts is a great way to establish a positive credit history, but should you need to close them, be sure to follow these steps to ensure that it doesn’t hurt your chance at future credit.
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