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How do I close empty credit card accounts?

I have recently checked my credit report and I realized I had several credit card accounts which were unused for several years running with a zero balance for some time.

I would like to close them to resolve my accounts and improve my overall credit.

I have to admit that some of the credit companies are quite odd (not cititbank or MBNA) but smaller credit houses from obscure stores I once purchased something to earn the 10% off etc.

How do I go about contacting the credit card companies to close these empty accounts?

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7 Responses to “How do I close empty credit card accounts?”

  1. Young and Famous said :

    Before you close your credit card accounts, you should understand that your credit score will fall!

    If you do want to close it, just find out the company’s telephone number and call them. Tell them you want to cancel your credit card.

    Once your credit card is canceled, your credit score may go down heavily!

    Some infomation are found at this blog

  2. troyboy said :

    you don’t want to close your credit card accounts. that will hurt your credit. You should pay them off and leave them open (unless there is a yearly charge)

  3. Mark P said :

    Ultimately each one will probably require a letter with your personal identification (i.e. including ssn, name, address, and account number if you still have it) requesting closure of the account. You can also request that you be removed from their mailing lists, telemarketing lists, that your personal information not be shared with any third parties, and even that your personal records are deleted. Eliminating unnecessary credit issuers limits your exposure to junk mail and identity theft.

    To find those addresses, you’ll need to talk to somebody at each credit provider. You may be able to find their customer service numbers using google – or perhaps they’re retail accounts and you can get an initial phone number from a local store. Credit cards usually have a customer service number on the back. An old statement would also have a phone number.

    It’ll be a small hassle tracking each one down but you’ll be happier for it – as new credit issuers look at your total available credit line – it’s pointless to have open credit lines which you aren’t using lowering your borrowing ability. Advice not to cancel your unused cards is simply incorrect. Sure you want to maintain some credit facilities – ideally you’re in good standing on all those accounts. But idle credit facilities do zip for your rating.

  4. Ethan J said :

    These company telephone numbers should be listed on your credit report.

    However, understand that closing these accounts will probably reduce your credit score, not improve it. A portion of your credit score is based upon the amount you have outstanding on loans VS the total amount of available credit. If the amount of credit extended to you is 50k, and you currently owe 10k, your percentage of debt/available credit is 20%. Keeping this percentage underneath 30% is desirable for the best possible credit score.

    If you close some of these accounts you will be reducing your ceiling of available debt, making the amount you have outstanding a larger percentage of available credit. This will more than likely reduce your score with all three credit reporting firms.

    You are free to do as you will, however it is more than likely better that you keep these accounts open.

    Good luck!

  5. clawedlemew said :

    Bad idea. Closing accounts almost never helps credit, it usually hurts.

    This is because your utilization percentage (percent of available credit used) will go up whenever you use your other cards.

  6. Pam said :

    I concur with one answer on here already. I’ve done the same thing. Yes, your credit score will fall, but I’m the type of person who thinks that the 4 cards I do have open is just fine with the lower credit score than having 10 open with a higher credit score. I’d rather not take the chance of it dangling out there for someone else to use.

    Anyway, (1) if you have the credit card, simply call the number on the back and ask them to close the account, (2) letters to the companies also work. You can track down the correct addresses on a past statement…or on the internet if you have no traceability to that particular card anymore. Finally, (3) if all else fails, use the information from your credit report itself to close the account. The credit report usually gives you the account number (or a portion of it) and the address of the institution giving you the credit.

    Best of luck.

  7. farrell h said :

    Pick a card, an empty card
    Take a close look at all the credit cards and store cards bursting through the seams of your wallet. Do you really need all those cards? Do you even remember the last time you used some of them?

    “Canceling unused accounts is an excellent idea,” says Howard Strong, author of What Every Credit Card User Needs to Know. “Why have all these accounts if you’re not using them?”

    So pick two or three favorite cards and cancel the rest. You’ll have fewer credit lines tempting you to spend and fewer bills to pay.

    Before you start cutting up the cards, however, keep three things in mind:

    * It’s important to only cancel credit cards with empty credit lines. If your balance is anything but zero, you’ll want to keep the account open until you pay it off.
    * Don’t let a card issuer know that you’re thinking of leaving until you’ve paid off the balance. Some issuers will jack up your interest rate if you try to cancel while you have a balance. “If you close an account when you maintain a balance, they increase the interest rate to the maximum allowed as a penalty,” says Steve Rhode, president of, a financial crisis and treatment center.
    * This strategy isn’t for everyone. If you plan to take out a mortgage or car loan in the coming months, canceling credit cards could actually worsen your chances of getting favorable terms (more on that later).
    read more about credit card from:


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