If you or a credit card company closed one of your old credit card accounts, but you now want to reopen the account for the benefits it can have on your credit report and score, you can make a formal request to have the account re-opened. In most cases, an account can be re-opened in a matter of minutes giving you immediate access to your old or new extended line of credit for purchases, withdrawals and balance transfers. The credit card issuer will report your end of billing cycle balance to the three national credit reporting bureaus each month.
Call the Credit Card Company
Contact the credit card issuer by phone as soon as possible. Find the company’s toll-free number which is commonly printed on the back of an old billing statement or go to the company’s official website and find contact information there. Typically, accounts are easier to reopen if they have been closed for 30 days or less.
Supply Your Personal Information
Provide your legal name, Social Security number, date of birth, previous and current address as well as your account number if you know it. The customer service representative may also require you to answer any security questions you set up when you first got the card.
Make Your Request
Ask the company representative to re-open your old line of credit. Complete a short questionnaire. For example, update your rental status, employment status, gross annual income as well as declare the number of adults and children currently living in your household.
Submit to a Credit Check
Grant a company representative permission to view your credit report and score. Typically, a credit card issuer will not re-open a credit account without first viewing the card holder’s credit report and score, looking for increases or decreases. Once approved, request a written notice that the “closed by creditor” entry on your credit report will be changed to “open,” which can boost your credit score. Take note that a creditor can reject your request but must provide written notification of the reasons for the rejection.
If a creditor closed an account because of missed payments, wait until your credit score has improved to avoid an immediate rejection. A credit account can be closed due to inactivity. In such cases, it may be easier to reopen the credit account.
Activate Your New Card
The company will issue a new credit card and send it to you in the mail. You must activate the card by phone using the card issuer’s automated system before you can begin using it. Some companies allow you to activate the card online, while others require you to call a toll-free number and follow a set of prompts.
- If a creditor closed an account because of missed payments, wait until your credit score has improved to avoid an immediate rejection.
- A credit account can be closed due to inactivity. In such cases, it may be easier to reopen the credit account.
- A creditor can reject your request, but must provide written notification of the reasons for the rejection.
Charlie Gaston has written numerous instructional articles on topics ranging from business to communications and estate planning. Gaston holds a bachelor's degree in international business and a master's degree in communications. She is fluent in Spanish and has extensive travel experience.