If you cancel a credit card, you may decide to reopen it in the future. It might be possible, but it depends on your credit card provider, the reason why you closed your account, and how much time has passed since you canceled it.
There’s always a chance that your card company will refuse to reopen your account (according to Credit Karma, Discover will never reopen canceled credit accounts). Even so, it never hurts to ask — you might be surprised.
So if you want to reopen a closed credit card account, Credit Karma offers a few tips that might help tip the odds in your favor.
Determine Why The Card Was Canceled
If you didn’t cancel your credit card, it’s likely that your credit card company might have.
When it comes down to it, your card provider has the authority to cancel your account at their discretion. Below are a few reasons why your card might be closed:
- Delinquent credit card debt
- A shift in the credit card issuer’s business needs, which has no connection to you or your activities as a cardholder
If the company closed your account because you didn’t pay your debt within a particular timeframe, it’s called a charge off. Be mindful that no matter why the card company canceled your card, you will need to pay it back in full if you still have an unpaid balance.
Collect Necessary Paperwork
You will need several documents to initiate the process, such as:
- The physical credit card connected to the account, if you didn’t get rid of it
- A statement from the canceled account with the account number
- Your name
- Your address
- Your Social Security number
Contact The Credit Card Company’s Customer Service
If you still have your old card, look on the back of it for a customer service number. If you no longer have this card, then check online or on a previous credit card bill.
Ask The Card Company To Reopen Your Account
When you call customer service, politely state that you want to reopen your old account. If you canceled the card yourself but had a change of heart, tell the agent your reason for reopening it. If the issuer canceled your card for another purpose, you might have to explain your case.
There is a possibility that they may reject your request, so be prepared for a negative outcome. Credit card providers don’t have to reopen old cards.
The key is to be transparent about why you want to reopen your old account rather than a new one with your old card. The agency might ask to confirm a hard credit check to reopen the account, which could temporarily knock points off your credit rating.
How Long Does A Closed Account Stay On Your Report?
The answer depends on whether you defaulted on your payments before you or the credit card company canceled the card. A charge-off will stay on your credit history for seven years from the date of delinquency.
On the other hand, canceling a card with a history of on-time, in-full payments could stay on your credit record for as long as a decade.
Does Canceling Your Credit Card Affect Your Credit?
There are several reasons why canceling a credit card can impact your credit score:
- It increases your credit utilization rate, which is the ratio of used credit out of your available credit. This ratio plays a big part in your credit health. Canceling a credit card can raise your credit utilization by reducing your amount of available credit.
- It shortens your credit history, which is another determining factor in your credit rating.
- It can negatively impact your credit mix, which is the variety of credit you have. Lenders look for borrowers with a healthy credit mix.
If your account was closed due to delinquent bill payments, this will go on your credit report and hurt your credit.
What Should You Do Next?
If the credit card issuer does approve your request, congratulations! Now you just need to use your card and keep it active.
If you couldn’t reopen your card, Credit Karma recommends a few other tips to help minimize the effects that a canceled card can have on your credit health:
- Request for a higher credit limit with your other credit cards to raise your credit utilization ratio
- Get a new credit card
- Work on different ways to improve your credit
- Hollis, Casey. “How to Reopen a Closed Credit Card Account.” Credit Karma, 31 July 2020, www.creditkarma.com/credit-cards/i/reopen-closed-credit-card-account.