Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Credit Card Mish-Mash

So I paid off my Capital One card last month, which was lovely. One less card to worry about! It was nice not having to pay that bill in July.

Except. Um. Apparently there was a lingering interest charge of $3.43 sitting there. The only reason I check it is that Ella commented on my last post suggesting I check my statements for the next few months for that very issue. (Thanks Ella! I am loving your new PF blog too!) Unfortunately, I incurred a $15 late fee for not paying my balance. Fortunately, I called Capital One, nicely explained what happened, and asked if they would remove the late fee. They did it, no questions asked. So, there are two lessons here-one, check your statements even after you pay off the card. Two, it never hurts to ask. :)

Which brings me to my last question: have any of you ever cancelled a credit card? I'd like to cancel my Capital One card and just keep the card associated with my credit union open. I don't plan to use it unless a dire situation arises, but that one is linked to my checking and car loan, so I see that balance often. I know people say not to close accounts, but I'm wondering how much damage to my credit it would do to just close the Capital One card once and for all. Thoughts from those more knowledgeable than me?


  1. I've only closed a department store card, which I've been told don't seem to matter as much as bank credit cards.

    To be honest, I wouldn't worry about the potential little ding to your credit -- because closing the card will also make you less of a credit risk to future lenders.
    Also, your credit score only matters if you're planning on applying for new credit in the near future. If you're not going to be opening a new card or taking out another loan in the next few months, there's no reason to worry about the score (in this instance -- obviously people that are missing payments should always be super concerned with their credit score. But good lendees? No way).

  2. I cancelled my Zellers card last year. I'd gotten it when I got married in 1991 and hadn't used it in probably 15 years. I called them and asked to have my account cancelled. I couldn't even remember which phone number I had had when I started the account LOL we figured it out eventually.

  3. Congratulations on paying the card off and I definitely agree that it never hurts to ask! I recently got hit with a returned check and late fee due to something that was partially my fault (entered account # as my name on online payment) and when I spoke to someone they removed both fees!

    I've closed cc's in the past but not recently. Since you won't have any balances soon I don't think you should be too worried about the temporary hit your score may take unless you are planning to apply for new credit. I have had Chase close an account I wasn't using more recently (which I know companies are doing more often now) but I am not sure if that has the same effect on your credit. Just make sure to use your other card for a small purchase here and there and pay it off to keep it open.

  4. I closed accounts in late 2007 & early 2008. I did it in writting and requested that they contact all 3 credit bureaus to inform them on the change. I also requested written confirmation that the account was paid in full and closed.

    Since closing the account I have not run into any problems, but I also haven't applied for new credit. To the best of my knowledge my score didn't take to much of a hit.

    I say close it if you don't plan on using it. Having an open account lingering out there may make you more vulnerable to identity theft.

  5. Wow! Glad to help. Nice that the rep was able to reverse that charge for you. And I am happy that you like my new blog too. :-)

    I have closed just 1 card in the past - a Capital One card soon after getting the card since they tacked on an annual fee that was not specified earlier.

    I think it matters on 2 counts - how long you've had your card and how much your credit limit on that card is. If it is your oldest card and it makes up for most of you credit available, I would say hold on to it.

  6. When someone closes a credit line.. their available credit goes down. If the remaining cards you have are all maxed out.. then it "Appears" that you have maxed out your entire credit lines, and your scored lowers a little bit.

    However.. this should not dissuade you from closing out the card.. because I know you're diligently working on the next debt in your list.

    In my opinion... if you even "think" that you MIGHT need the Capital one card for an emergency.. then it's best to close it.. emergencies are what your emergency FUND is for.

    Good luck to you!