Dec
23
2009

Credit scores aren’t affected by who closed the account

Dear Experian,

What looks better on my credit report, closing a credit card account myself or the credit card company closing my account?

- EAU

 

Dear EAU,

In the past, who closed the account was important, but changes in the credit marketplace have changed that. Today, it actually doesn’t matter who closed the account.

Closed accounts may still indicate “closed at consumer’s request,” or “closed at creditor’s request,” but the statement has no impact on credit scores.

Not too long ago, when a creditor closed an account, it was because the person was having repayment problems or showing signs of high risk. That made the statement meaningful with regard to the person’s ability to repay their debts or to take on new debt.

Today, however, people open and close accounts regularly in search of better terms. Some people open and close accounts so often they are described as “credit surfing,” much like channel surfing when you are watching television.

Credit score modelers are constantly assessing the marketplace to determine what does and does not help predict lending risk and adjust their scoring systems accordingly. Because accounts are opened and closed with such regularity, the statements regarding who asked that the account be closed have lost their meaning as an indicator of risk.

Thanks for asking.

- The “Ask Experian” team

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