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Should I Cancel My Credit Card?

Ask Savvy: When Should I Cancel My Credit Card?

Dear Savvy,

Is it a good idea to cancel a credit card you are paying off instead of waiting until you pay it off entirely?

A: No, you need to keep a card open until the balance has been paid off completely. After your balance is zeroed out, call the issuer and ask for your card to be canceled with a note to the credit bureaus that the account was "closed at customer's request."

Find out more things to consider regarding credit card cancellation when you


Before you make the decision to cancel a card, make sure that canceling it won't negatively affect your credit score. Don't cancel a card that you've had for a long time because you want to maintain the longevity component of your credit history. Also, if it's a card with a high credit limit, you may consider hanging on to it so your credit-to-debt ratio doesn't take a hit. If you're not carrying credit card balances, credit-to-debt ratios are less of an issue, but if you tend to have balances carry from one month to the next you especially need to pay attention to this number.


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