Jenni and I have been debt free, other than our house, since June 2013. But, for some reason, I couldn’t bring myself to actually close our two credit card accounts because I was still under the mindset that we “needed” them until we actually built up our emergency fund savings goal.
I felt secure knowing that I had access to $10,000 plus, even if it came with a 13.9% interest rate (or whatever the rate was). So, when we finally hit our goal earlier this year of having an emergency fund, it was a real reality check for us.
It’s not like we actually worried about the credit cards much. In fact, my cards were down in my office buried in my normal pile of paperwork and the card Jenni was carrying wasn’t even the newest card. Then, this past Sunday, we actually cut up our three (my two and Jenni’s new one) credit cards.
The funny part about it was that the cards were still attached to the paper they came mailed in. We hadn’t even activated them.
Now, I know that just by cutting up the cards doesn’t actually close out the account. So, I decided to call both companies to close the accounts. I was expecting some drawn out, retention issue when I went to call and cancel.
But, to my surprise, they were very easy to close. They mainly just had me verify normal information for my identity and then asked why I wanted to cancel. I just told them I didn’t use them anymore. One thing I made sure to ask was for them to send me a mailing confirming that the account had indeed been closed. Both companies said that it could take 7-10 business days for the letter to arrive.
Canna Campbell is the single mum teaching women to get smart about money (post continues after audio).
I don’t feel much different now that we don’t have the credit cards. I guess, even before we closed out the accounts, I didn’t really get my security from them. Maybe I was just more worried about making that phone call to cancel the cards? I’m not sure. I would encourage you to cut up and get rid of your credit cards as you are able to.
What has your experience been with credit cards? Do you feel they give you more financial security?