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Q: I need to cancel one of my credit cards. How do I do this without hurting my credit?
A: You have probably heard that cancelling a credit card may actually have a negative effect on your credit score. However, you have reached a point where this action is necessary, either because of identity or credit card theft or simply because you know that to continue using this particular credit card is not going to benefit anyone.
This does not mean that you shouldn’t or can’t cancel a credit card. It can be done, but several factors must be taken into consideration. Before you begin the process, make sure your reasons for wanting to cancel the card will justify the action. If it is the only way to stop an identity thief from further ruining your credit, then this is a sound reason for initiating a cancellation. Also, if you had previously designated an authorized user, but now do not want that person making charges on the account, and all other efforts to bring this about have failed, this can be a good reason for cancelling a card.
Once you have determined that your reasons warrant this action, but again before starting any proceedings, consider just how it will affect your credit score. If necessary, get a copy of your credit report and study it thoroughly. If you already have some “dings” on your credit history, you might want to consider waiting.