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Closed Accounts

When Are Closed Accounts Deleted?

Dear Experian,

Will the closed account ever be removed from my credit report? Even though it shows as closed, it is still appearing as a negative account.

- OWE

Dear OWE,

Yes! One of the good things about your credit report is that negative information is deleted after a certain period of time so that you can rebuild a damaged credit history. Positive information typically remains on the credit report longer in order to give you credit for making your payments on time. So, when a closed account is deleted depends on its account history.

How Long Do Closed Accounts Remain?

If the account in question was delinquent at the time it was paid off and closed, the entire account will be removed seven years from the original delinquency date of the account. The original delinquency date is the date the account first became late without being brought current.

If the account was past due but brought current prior to when it was closed, only the late payments will be removed once the seven years are up. The account will then appear on the report as a positive account.

A closed positive account with no negative information in its history may stay on the credit report for up to 10 years from the date it is closed. Therefore, a positive account may remain in your credit report longer than an account with negative information. Even though the account is closed, the positive payment history may continue to help your scores for as long as it remains. It may not help as much as an open account with current payments, but it is still a positive.

Improving Your Credit History

If you've had credit difficulties in the past and want to begin repairing your credit history, you can do so by:

  • Bringing any past due accounts current
  • Making all your payments on time going forward
  • Paying down credit card balances and keeping them low

Keep in mind that the longer ago your late payments occurred, the less impact they are likely to have on your credit scores as time goes by.

Thanks for asking.
Jennifer White, Consumer Education Specialist

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