Some credit cards are best left open. So as you consider which credit cards to keep and which get rid of, keep this rule of thumb in mind: don't close any credit cards with balances, your only credit card with available credit, your oldest credit card, or the credit card with the best terms.
If the credit card still has a balance, it's a good idea to pay off the balance before closing the credit score. Once you contact the credit card issuer, make sure they have your correct billing address on file and have a credit card statement mailed to you so you can verify the amount and pay off the balance. You can opt to pay the balance over time or all at once, if you can afford to.
02Call the Credit Card Company to Get the Account Number
Usually, your credit report contains the contact number for the company listing the account.
No phone number listed on the credit report? Try using a search engine like Google to find the company's website. Most credit card issuers' websites match the company name.
For example, Discover's website is Discover.com. Once you've found the correct website, look for a "Contact Us" link on the site to find a contact number. You can also try looking through your old documents to locate a credit card statement from that creditor.
When you have a number, call the card company. Let them know you have an account with them, but no longer have the credit card or the credit card number. The customer service representative will ask for some identifying information to look up your account.
For privacy reasons, the company might have a policy against giving out credit card numbers over the phone.
03Close the Account Over the Phone
If the representative can give your account number or at least the last four digits of the account number over the phone, write it down for future reference, and then request to have the credit card closed.
04Follow up in Writing
After closing your credit card by phone, send a certified letter to the credit card issuer confirming your request to have your credit card closed.
In the letter include your name, address, and last four digits of the account number. State that you requested to have your credit card account closed on whatever date and that you want your credit record to reflect that the account was closed at your request.
You can check your credit report in a few weeks to confirm that your account was closed.
How to Close a Credit Card Without the Account Number
If you're trying to clean up your credit report, you may come across a few open credit cards that you no longer have in your possession. This makes it tough to close the account because you don't have the full account number to give to the credit card issuer. Fortunately, since credit card accounts are often tied to your personal information, like your social security number, you can still close the credit card without having the account number.