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If you have closed credit accounts, it’s important to make sure they’re removed from your credit report. We’ve got the details on what’s included in your credit report, how a closed account impacts your credit score, and how to remove closed accounts from your credit report.

Sections of Credit Report

There are several different sections that are included in a credit report. The most important sections are your credit history, current accounts, and inquiries.

The credit history section includes a list of all of your credit accounts and the dates they were opened and closed. It also includes your credit score, utilization rate, and payment history. The payment history is the most important part, as it shows how often you have paid a bill late or have missed payments.

The current accounts section includes information on all of your active accounts, such as your account balance, credit limit, and payment history. This section can be helpful in determining how much available credit you have and if you are using a lot of your available credit.

The inquiries section includes a list of everyone who has pulled your credit report as well as the date. If a lot of creditors pull your report all at once, it could impact your score negatively.

What Is a Closed Account? 

A closed account is an account that has been permanently closed by the credit card issuer or by the consumer. When an account is closed, the creditor will report it to the credit bureau. This will impact your credit score and may stay on your credit report for up to seven years.

How Does a Closed Account Impact Credit Score?

Closed accounts can impact your credit score in a few ways. The most obvious is that it will lower your available credit and therefore your utilization rate. Closed accounts also stay on your credit report for a certain amount of time, which can impact your average account age and account history. Having a lot of closed accounts can also signal to creditors that you are not good at managing credit. All of these factors can lower your credit score.

Three Steps to Removing Closed Accounts From Credit Report

If you’re working to remove closed accounts from your credit report, there are three simple steps that can help you to get the process started.

Dispute Inaccurate Information

The first step is to dispute the information with the credit bureau. You can do this by writing a letter or filing a dispute online. You will want to include as much information as possible and tell the bureau exactly what parts of your report you want to be removed and provide any documentation you have that helps prove that the item(s) is wrong.

Write a Goodwill Letter

A goodwill letter is not a formal deletion request. The letter is to acknowledge that you have made past mistakes and are trying to improve your credit standing. State the specifics of your situation, such as what happened, how it could have been prevented, and why it isn’t likely to happen again. Ask the creditor to consider your situation and remove the negative mark from your credit report. This type of letter will be most successful if it is a one-time request and you haven’t had many negative marks on your reports.

Wait for Account to Be Removed

Over time, closed accounts will fall off of your credit report. How long you have to wait depends on the credit bureau that you file your request with as well as the creditor that reported it. Typically, you will have to wait seven years for a closed account to fall off of your credit report. If you are trying to apply for credit and the creditor pulls your report, there may be an impact on your score even though it has been closed for years.

Disputing Credit Report Errors

Aside from your closed accounts, you should also review your credit report for inaccurate information since it can impact your credit score. If you find any inaccurate information on your credit report, it’s important to dispute it as soon as possible. This can be done by writing a letter or filing a dispute online. You will want to include as much information as possible and tell the bureau exactly what part(s) of your report you want to be removed and provide any documentation you have that helps prove that the item is wrong. 

How to Rebuild Your Credit

If you have had negative marks on your credit report in the past, it can be difficult to rebuild your credit score. However, there are a few things you can do to improve your chances of being approved for credit.

The most important thing is to make sure that you are paying your bills on time. This includes all of your bills, not just your credit cards. You should also try to keep your credit utilization rate as low as possible. This means using less than 30% of your available credit at any given time.

Additionally, you should consider adding a secured credit card to your portfolio. A secured credit card is a credit card that requires a security deposit, which is usually equal to the amount of credit you are granted.

Common Questions About Credit Reports:

How do I get a free credit report?

CreditAssociates offers a free credit report that you can use to get an overview of your credit standing and identify any errors that may be impacting your credit score. The credit report is updated on a regular basis, so you can always be sure that you have the most up-to-date information. You can also use the credit report to get a free debt reduction plan with no credit card required.

How long do inquiries stay on your credit report?

Inquiries can stay on your credit report for up to two years, but they will only have a negative impact on your score for the first 12 months. After that, the impact will lessen and eventually go away. If you have multiple inquiries in a short period of time, it could negatively impact your score more than if you had just one inquiry.

How long do missed payments stay on my credit report?

Missed payments can stay on your credit report for up to seven years. This can have a significant negative impact on your credit score, making it more difficult to get approved for credit cards and loans. However, if you are able to start paying your bills on time, your credit score will gradually improve over time.

How Can CreditAssociates Help?

If you’re struggling to get your debt under control, CreditAssociates can help. Our program lets you choose your monthly payment without having to pay us until your debt is resolved, and it has a $2,000 money-back guarantee. Getting your debt under control can play a huge role in securing a solid financial future for you and your family that includes a good credit score. Learn more about how it works, or give us a call today for a free consultation: 1-800-983-6693.