Are you considering canceling your credit card? If so, here are 3 ways to cancel a credit card that will keep you safe. You need to know what the risks are before making this decision as it can greatly impact your credit score.

Pay Off Your Balance in Full

If you are going to cancel your card, it is best that you pay off the balance in full. Oftentimes, you’ll need to wait a month after closing a card before the final interest is applied, which is something to take into account. You don’t want interest charges and late fees piling up while you aren’t using this credit line. If there is a zero balance on your account before canceling, it will have no impact on your credit score.

Cancel Your Credit Card by Phone

On the back of your credit card, there is a phone number you can call to cancel. The customer service representative will help process this request, but probably not before they offer you a number of solutions to avoid canceling. Ultimately, no credit card company wants to lose a customer, so they will do their best to keep you on board. If you absolutely need to close your card for financial reasons, do not let them talk you out of it.

Cancel Your Credit Card Online

If your credit card company has an online portal, canceling could be as simple as following the prompts on their website. This way, there are no phone calls or follow-up emails required with anyone after closing your account. Just enter all the necessary information to cancel your account and you are done.

Mail a Cancellation Notice

If you cancel your card over the phone or online, make sure you follow up with an official letter in the mail so that this action is recorded and reported correctly on your credit report. Sending an official certified letter is not required, but it is highly recommended in order to avoid any confusion about the account closure.

Canceling a credit card can have long-term effects on your FICO score, so it’s important that you are aware of what these will be before closing an account. Knowing how to cancel a credit card safely and responsibly can help ensure this decision doesn’t affect your financial stability.