Q: Can a credit issuer close an active credit card because your score drops significantly? For example, if I default on my home loan, would my credit cards still be good?
A: Sorry to break it to you, but, yes, an issuer can close your credit card account if your credit score takes a nosedive.
While the Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure Act does require issuers to give notice before raising interest rates, it doesn’t eliminate universal default, which is “the process whereby your credit card issuer changes the terms of your account because of changes to your credit scores or credit reports,” says John Ulzheimer, CEO of SmartCredit.com. “If your score drops or something concerning hits your credit reports, any credit card issuer can take an ‘adverse action’ as a result.”
This adverse action includes closing your account. (Incidentally, an issuer can also do this if you go a long period of time without actually using the card.)
The one bright spot is the account closure will net you a free copy of your credit score.
Thanks to a provision in the Dodd-Frank financial reform bill, must notify a borrower if the borrower’s credit score resulted in adverse loan terms. They also must furnish the borrower with a copy of the score that resulted in the decision.
Unfortunately, “this can be sent after your account has been closed,” Ulzheimer says.