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Thinking of Closing a Credit Card? Make Sure it Really is Closed

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Bob left me the following comment about a lesson he learned when he closed a credit card:

“I had several cards with low limits from the same company. I called up and canceled these cards. Thinking everything was OK I just went on my merry way until two months later I got an overdue notice and a $100 bill (I don’t remember the exact amount, but it was plenty). I called the company, got a rep in India (the first one that I cancelled with was from the US). I explained that I had canceled the card and there should be no charges.

Turns out this particular card had some kind of annual fee. Even though the balance was zero (and had been for some time) the annual fee was charged AFTER I had closed the account. Next month I was charged with a late fee which, of course, showed up on my credit report. The Indian sales rep was very helpful, reversed the incorrect charges and closed the accounts, but the credit card company did not bother to have the items removed from my credit report.

The moral of the story is be SURE your account is canceled and no additional fees are charged.”

Wow. To think that you are done with a card yet having it charge you for the annual fee is horrible. While mistakes can happen, having your credit history dinged because of their mistake is not fair at all. I guess the best thing to always do is to watch your cards like a hawk so you can correct mistakes immediately.

Thanks for sharing your experience, Bob!


3 Comments

  • Reply Jen |

    This reminds of when my wallet was stolen and I had to report 3-4 cards. All but one credit card company was great. Bank One took 4 months to take the fraudulant charges and the associated fees off my card!!! Each month I would call and tell them the charges were fraudulent and I had been told they’d be removed, along with the late fees and finance charges. And the next month I’d get the bill with the charges still on! After the charges were removed, I closed the card.

    As for closing cards, now that I have a mortgage on my credit record I am going to start closing cards I don’t use anymore. I know it will affect my FICO, but I want to close some of these cards so I don’t have to worry about credit card and identity theft. Maybe I’ll sit down sometime and calculate my debt ratio to figure out how many I can close without adversely affecting my score.

  • Reply Tricia |

    Eliza – you’re welcome. Bob gave a great tip.

    Jen – that is one of my worst fears (losing my cards). Just the hassle to get everything settled. So sorry to hear you had to go through that with Bank One.

So, what do you think ?