Following the announcement of the Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act of 2009, many credit card companies began raising cardholder's interest rates and charging other fees before the act became law. This caused many cardholders to close their accounts. But once an account with a balance is closed, payments must still be made until the full balance is paid, and the credit card company still has control over the account-holder's interest rate. It is possible to freeze the interest rate to save money when you close a credit card account, but tips provided by Bankrate.com warn it will take some effort and patience.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Challenging
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Things you need
- Credit Card statement
Contact the credit card company, both by phone and in writing. Call and request that your account be closed, and ask that the interest rate be frozen. Remind the customer service representative of any positive aspects of your relationship (such as, you have never been late with payments, or that you have had the account for many years). Follow up immediately with a letter containing the same request and information.
Ask that a statement be mailed to you verifying that your account was closed at your request, and that the interest rate has been fixed. Make a copy and save this document. Follow up if the requested statement does not arrive.
Check your credit report. Make sure your credit card account is noted as "Closed at customer's request" and not "Closed at creditor's request." The difference can hurt your credit rating. Make any necessary corrections by disputing the errors with the credit card company and through the credit reporting agency (TransUnion, Equifax or Experian).
Tips and warnings
- Everyone is entitled to a free credit report at least once a year. Visit the Annual Credit Report website for more information.
- If you still have a balance on your credit card, try to pay it off before requesting the account be closed. Ask for a lower, or a fixed interest rate, and continue to make payments until the balance is paid in full. Then, close the account. This will have a more positive impact on your credit score.
- It may be necessary to make repeated requests for your interest rate to be frozen. However, most credit card companies will cooperate with customers who have accounts in good standing.
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