Closed accounts will remain in credit history for up to 10 years

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Dear Experian,

How do I have old credit card accounts that are long ago closed or paid off removed from my credit report? I know that my score is negatively affected because of so many “open” accounts!



Dear EDC,

Your credit report reflects the account history. Therefore, credit card accounts remain on your report for a set period of time — even after they are closed and paid off.

First, you may want to check and see if the accounts are being reported as closed. Even though you think you closed them, they may still be open in your creditors’ records. And, that may not be a bad thing. Rather than being a negative, having open credit limits can lower your utilization ratio and help improve your scores.

Even if closed, the accounts that have no late payment history remain on your credit report for 10 years from the date closed. As long as the positive information remains, it contributes to a stronger credit history. So, removing those accounts early actually could be harmful to your credit scores.

If the accounts have negative information in the payment history, they will remain on your credit report for seven years from the original delinquency date of the account. The original delinquency date is the first missed payment after which the account was not brought current.

Accounts with negative information are deleted sooner than accounts with no negative history, helping you rebuild your credit faster if you’ve had problems in the past.

Thanks for asking.

The “Ask Experian” team

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