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How to Remove a Closed Account From Your Credit Report

Remove closed account from credit report

Removing closed accounts from your credit report could impact your credit score. Closing a credit card or other account does not remove it from your credit report automatically. While closing an account means you can no longer use it, it doesn’t disappear from your credit history.

Any accounts that stay on your credit reports, both open and closed accounts, could continue to impact your credit score.

You could hire a credit repair agency to help remove inaccurate information, contact the credit bureaus to remove it yourself, ask your creditor, or you can just wait it out.

How Closed Accounts Affect Your Credit

Your payment history, how much of your available credit you’re utilizing, the age of your accounts, the types of credit accounts you use, and how often you apply for new credit are all factors that make up your credit score. A closed account’s impact on your credit score really depends on what type of credit account it is and whether or not you still owe a balance.

Closing a credit card account results in you losing the available balance on the card resulting in increased utilization rate, or more commonly known as your balance-to-limit ratio. This can potentially hurt your credit score. A higher rate of use in comparison to your credit limit is seen as a sign of risk.

Since installment loans aren’t revolving accounts, like credit cards are, they don’t have an effect on your balance-to-limit ratio or your credit utilization ratio. Once the account is closed and paid in full, the benefit of continuing to make regular payments, on-time, is lost. The payment history does remain.

A closed loan or credit card account can still affect your score. Any closed accounts on your credit report with negative remarks like late payments or missed payments, charge offs, and collection accounts will remain on your credit reports for about seven years.

And “paid as agreed” closed accounts can remain on your credit reports for up to 10 years, starting from the date your lender first reported the account as closed.

Should You Remove a Closed Account From Your Credit Report?

Before attempting to remove closed accounts from your credit report, you must consider the implications to your credit score. A reputable credit reporting agency can help you with this.

A closed account with negative information such as late payments or missed payments is likely harmful to your credit score. Removing it could raise your credit score. If the closed account has only positive history, you may not want to remove it from your credit report.

Creditors are not obligated by law to report borrower account information to the major credit bureaus. If you have a high balance account, and pay it in full, your credit score could drop. It would be assumed that being in less debt would make you appear less of a risk, but that is not always how the credit rating bureaus see it. They will recognize that you have less credit available.

If you have accounts on your credit report that you want removed, approach with caution Make sure to weigh out all of your options and how removing the account will impact your credit. While this can be done researching, we recommend hiring a professional to help.

How to Remove a Closed Account from Your Credit Report?

It is possible to request closed accounts be removed from your credit report on your own. There are several ways to do this. If one way doesn’t work, try another way.
Dispute Inaccuracies

Credit reporting agencies must correct or delete any inaccurate information on your credit report according to the Fair Credit Reporting Act. Even if you can prove information is inaccurate, removing it does not happen quickly. You have to dispute the information successfully by initiating a dispute online or by certified mail with each of the three major credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion.

When you initiate a dispute, make sure to provide this information to each of the credit bureaus:

  • Name
  • Account number
  • Information you’re disputing
  • Supporting documentation

Once you initiate the dispute, the credit bureaus have 30 days to investigate your claim with the lender or creditor in question. They must then notify you, in writing, of their findings. By law, if the disputed information is indeed inaccurate, it must be corrected or removed. If any inaccurate information is removed from your credit reports, it cannot be added back unless it is later proved that it was accurate.

Disputing inaccuracies may not remove closed accounts from your credit report entirely as it just removes or corrects the errors. If you want an account removed only based on negative activity, it may not be removed if it’s proven the reported information is accurate.

Write a Goodwill Letter

Not the same as a dispute, a goodwill letter is a very nice way to ask a lender or creditor to remove closed accounts and their history from your credit report. You are not contesting the accuracy of reported information by going this route. The creditor does not have to remove the information.

This can be a good option if you have negative information on your closed account due to extenuating circumstances. Perhaps you missed payments because of an injury that kept you from working. You can point out to your lenders or creditors to review your history in its entirety to show that you did make good faith attempts to continue paying the debt even after you defaulted. This is why it’s important to always pick back up with payments when possible.

Debt collectors could also negotiate with you by requiring you to pay your debt in full or settle. Even then, debt collectors still aren’t required to remove the account. The original account may also remain on your credit report with a derogatory history.

Wait

What could require the most patience of all your options is simply to wait it out. If you dispute or write a goodwill letter and negative information is removed, your creditor doesn’t have to remove the closed account in its entirety. If they don’t, you have no choice but to wait.

Negative information on your credit report will fall off of your credit report seven years from the original date of delinquency of the debt. The timer starts when negative items are first reported to your credit report.

Check your credit report frequently to check for accuracy and to stay on top of any inaccurate information that may be reported. By visiting annuralcreditreport.com, you can pull your full credit report from each of the three major credit bureaus once per year.

Practice Good Habits Moving Forward

If you are moving forward from closed credit accounts due to default or late/missing payments, working towards removing these accounts from your credit report is a good step forward. Establish good credit habits that promote a healthy credit score such as:

  1. Paying your bills in a timely manner, consistently
  2. Keeping your balances low
  3. Paying off debt
  4. Don’t close unused credit accounts
  5. Limit how often you apply for new credit

If you find yourself struggling with payments, reach out to your creditors. They may offer hardship plans or even payment deferral options to help you avoid negative information being reported to your credit report.