The recommended plan is to cut up the cards, and start using cash for everything. If you don't have the cash, you can't afford it. Pay off your card accounts. If you want to close the accounts at that point, then yes, you call them. They will try very hard to keep you, offering you all kinds of "deals" to keep you on the hook and in debt.
No. If you pay off your cc bills and don't keep running up more bills that have to be paid over time, your credit should be fine.
The place that makes up your credit score, FICO has a website that can help: myfico.com . Take a look and see what your current credit score is and there's information there on repairing your credit etc.
Apologies to the OP for suspecting you for being a troll.
Your credit score will not improve overnight; if it is bad, it can take several years to recover.
My advice stands, read Dave Ramsey's books, or if you don't like him, try Mary Hunt; there are several other good authors out there was well.
As for canceling the cards, some companies will automatically cancel them if you don't use the card for a long period of time but in other cases yes, you need to call and cancel them.
As Russ points out, canceling them all now will result in a drop in your credit score. On the other hand, if it's that bad already, how much does another drop matter, especially if the end goal is to get out of debt and never get in debt again?
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