What happens if i close a credit card with a positive balance?

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Closing a credit card with a positive balance may seem like a straightforward decision, but it can have various implications on your credit score, financial standing, and overall credit history. In this article, we will explore what happens when you close a credit card with a positive balance and the potential consequences you may encounter.

Impact on Credit Score

One of the primary concerns when closing a credit card with a positive balance is the impact it can have on your credit score. Closing a credit card account can affect two essential factors that contribute to your credit score: credit utilization and length of credit history.

Credit Utilization: Credit utilization refers to the percentage of your available credit that you are currently using. When you close a credit card, the credit limit associated with that card is no longer factored into your overall available credit. As a result, your credit utilization ratio may increase, which can negatively impact your credit score. It is generally recommended to keep your credit utilization below 30% to maintain a healthy credit score.

Length of Credit History: The length of your credit history is an important factor in determining your credit score. Closing a credit card account can shorten the average age of your credit accounts, especially if it is one of your oldest cards. A shorter credit history may have a negative impact on your credit score, as lenders typically prefer to see a longer credit history.

Effect on Credit History

Closing a credit card with a positive balance can also affect your credit history in several ways. When you close an account, it will still remain on your credit report, but its status may change. Instead of being listed as an open account, it may be marked as “closed by consumer” or “closed at credit grantor’s request.”

While a closed account does not immediately disappear from your credit history, it can still impact how potential lenders view your creditworthiness. Some lenders may view a closed account as a sign of financial instability or an inability to manage credit responsibly. However, if the account was closed with a positive balance, it may reflect positively on your credit history, as it demonstrates that you paid off your debts before closing the account.

Handling the Positive Balance

When closing a credit card with a positive balance, you have a few options for handling the remaining funds. You can request a refund from the credit card issuer, which will typically be issued in the form of a check or direct deposit. Alternatively, you can transfer the balance to another credit card or use it to offset future purchases.

It is important to note that leaving the positive balance on the card and not using it for an extended period may result in the credit card issuer automatically sending you a refund check after a certain period of inactivity. This can vary depending on the terms and conditions of the credit card issuer.


Closing a credit card with a positive balance can have implications on your credit score and credit history. It is crucial to consider the potential impact before making a decision. Remember to pay off any outstanding balance and explore your options for handling the positive balance to ensure a smooth transition.


– Experian: www.experian.com
– Equifax: www.equifax.com
– TransUnion: www.transunion.com