Have you recently looked into your credit report only to find your rating is much lower than you assumed? There are all kinds of reasons a person can end up with a low credit score, which is why it’s so important to get your hands on your full credit report and investigate further. Often, a low score can be the result of creditors still appearing on your account that you have in fact paid off in full. Unless you take the steps to get rid of the closed account, it can remain there and continue to bring down your score.
So how exactly can you get rid of closed accounts on your credit report and thereby improve your credit rating? Let’s take a closer look.
All too often, people assume that by paying off a creditor in full this automatically means it is taken off their credit report right away. This isn’t true at all, as your credit report will show all your credit accounts, no matter if they are open or closed. What this could also mean is that you can potentially have accounts that have been closed sitting on your report for months, even years before you realize and do something about it.
Now where this closed account sitting on your credit report can hurt you is if the account had any delinquencies on it. It is just sitting there bringing down your entire score, regardless of the fact you cleared it up and paid it all off.
Unfortunately, removing that closed account off your credit report isn’t as easy as you may assume. This is partly why so many people just leave the report as it is because they are unaware of how to go about getting rid of it.
One way to go about it is to sit and wait, which isn’t ideal. Typically, the credit bureau will go ahead and remove a closed account once it has been closed for 10 years or more. The problem is that’s a whole lot of time to sit around and wait and let that account possibly affect you in a negative way.
Instead, it’s best to get a hold of your credit report and go through each item one by one, looking for any account that you want removed. If there is negative information on your report that shouldn’t be there, it’s best to file a dispute with the credit bureau. This can be done with a goodwill letter. If that fails it’s best to call the creditor directly and speak to them. If these steps all fail, then your final resort is to file a complaint against the credit bureau through your local consumer financial protection agency.
By following these steps, and being persistent with your efforts to remove closed accounts off your credit report, the hope is that it won’t take long before your request is granted and your report accurately reflects your current standings.