When you close an account, it continues to appear on your credit report for up to ten years if it was paid as agreed, or up to seven years if there were late payments. If the account was in good standing, this benefits your credit score since it shows a record of an account paid on time. If it was an account you had problems with in the past, you may want to try to have it removed. Here’s how you can remove closed accounts from your credit report.
Send a Goodwill Letter
One way to try to have a closed account removed from your credit report is by sending a goodwill letter. This is a formal request to a creditor requesting that the negative item be removed from your credit report. The creditor isn’t obligated to remove it but is more likely to consider it if you were late because of circumstances beyond your control such as being kept out of work because of an illness or an injury. If you tried to get back to making payments after you improved from your illness or injury, they’re more likely to agree.
A goodwill letter probably won’t work if the account went to a collections agency. You can attempt a “pay for delete” letter requesting the account be deleted from your credit report if you pay an agreed-on amount. The problem with this option is they aren’t obligated to delete the account even if you pay them, and even if they do, the original delinquency that happened before it went to collections remains on your credit.
Wait it Out
Credit missteps don’t remain on your credit report forever. Since negative items remain on your credit for seven years, the easiest solution may be to wait it out. This may be your only choice if the information is accurate and the creditor isn’t willing to remove it. The seven years is counted from the time the account first was reported as a negative item, not from the time the account is closed.
Filing a Dispute
If the negative item is more than seven years old and is still showing on your credit report, or if the information being reported isn’t accurate, file a dispute with the credit bureau. Contact the credit bureau with information on why you believe the item is incorrect, and also contact the creditor who is reporting inaccurate information to ask that it be corrected. Include the account number and documentation that proves the information is wrong. The credit bureau is required to investigate your claim within 30 days.
Protecting Your Credit
The most important thing you can do to protect your credit is to always pay your bills on time. Keep your credit utilization low and avoid borrowing money if you don’t need to. Make sure your credit report is only reporting accurate information. If you need help disputing errors on your credit report, Dovly can help. Dovly is an automated credit repair engine that can help you track, manage and fix your credit. Try it risk-free with our free membership tier. Get in touch with Dovly today.