Revolving accounts paid in full and closed but still showing on report

Dear Experian,

All my credit cards are paid in full and closed but still showing revolving on my credit history. I want to clean up my credit history. What steps do I need to follow?



Dear SHS,

The word “revolving” describes the type of account and means it is a credit card. Credit cards are called revolving accounts because you can carry a balance from one month to the next, or “revolve” the debt.

Other account types include installment loans, such as auto loans, which have a principle loan amount that you pay off with a set payment amount due at the same time each month and charge accounts, which are like credit cards, but require that you pay the full balance each month, so do not “revolve.”

For revolving accounts, the status line indicates whether an account is open or closed, if there is a balance and whether the account payments are current, late or had been late. Installment loans will show the same information, but rather than “closed” they state “paid” when the balance has been paid in full.

The accounts will continue to appear in your credit report after they are paid off. If the accounts have been delinquent, they will be deleted seven years from the original delinquency date of the account. If they were never late, they will remain 10 years from the closed date.

So, you’ve taken the first and most important step to improving your credit history by paying off the accounts. Now it’s just a matter of waiting until any negative information is deleted.

However, if you have no open accounts and no credit activity, you are not demonstrating that you can manage credit and your credit history and it will quickly reach a point at which it cannot be “scored.” If possible, you should keep at least one credit card open and use it to make small purchases, paying in full each month to avoid going into debt or paying finance charges. Otherwise, you may not be able to qualify for new credit services when you want them.

Thanks for asking.

- The “Ask Experian” team

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