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How to cancel a PenFed credit card

Follow these steps if you'd like to part ways with this credit card provider.

Updated

Fact checked

PenFed makes it relatively easy to cancel your credit card without calling, but be prepared to stand your ground. Representatives will often try to persuade you not to close your account by offering perks, making it more of an involved process than it has to be.

That said, you may be able to cancel your PenFed card online by sending a simple message.

Steps to cancel your PenFed credit card

  1. Go to the PenFed website and log into your account.
  2. Click account actions on the navigation bar.
  3. Under the contact us section, click Contact us.
  4. The Member information section should automatically populate your personal information. Verify that your details are correct.
  5. Write a message stating you want to close your card.

What if I decide to cancel by phone after all?

Though you can contact PenFed through your message center, you still may not be able to cancel your card online. If that’s the case, call PenFed customer service at 800-247-5626.

Before calling, understand that the bank’s representative may try to convince you to keep your account open. Are you willing to keep your account under certain circumstances? If you are, know what it’ll take for the representative to convince you. For example, you might be able to negotiate a lower interest rate.

Will canceling my PenFed credit card affect my credit score?

Most likely, yes. When you close your card, you’ll decrease your total available credit and increase your credit utilization ratio. Ultimately, this lowers your credit score.

Your credit utilization ratio is the amount of debt you have relative to your total credit. For example, let’s say you have a $1,000 balance on one credit card and a $0 balance on another card. These cards have credit limits of $2,000 and $3,000, respectively, giving you a total credit limit of $5,000. This means your credit utilization is $1,000/$5,000, or 20%.

Now, let’s say you close the card with the $3,000 credit limit, leaving you with the $2,000-limit card. Now, your credit utilization ratio is $1,000/$2,000 = 50%, which is considered high.

Lenders want to see a low credit utilization ratio — usually under 30%. To them, it means you’re less likely to default on your payments due to overwhelming debt.

What should I do after canceling my PenFed credit card?

After sending your cancelation message or calling PenFed, send a written cancelation request to the bank. Include your name, contact information, account number and credit card number, as well as a request for an account closure confirmation letter.

Sign your letter and send it to:

PenFed Credit Union
Box 247009
Omaha, NE 68124-7009

Now that you’ve closed your PenFed card, compare your credit card options to find an alternative that fits your needs.

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