Many people think that a closed credit account will automatically be dropped from a credit
report. Credit bureaus only remove information from a credit report if it’s outdated, inaccurate, or if
a creditor agrees to remove it.
Some closed credit accounts can hurt your credit. If an account is closed and paid off but
has delinquent payments or a charge-off, you can write a goodwill letter to the creditor and ask the
account to be removed. Creditors do not have to honor your request, but there have been cases when a
company is kind enough to do so after a paid balance.
There is also an option for credit accounts that are closed but have a balance. In these
cases, you can send a pay-for-delete letter. It’s an offer to pay the balance in full in exchange
for removing the account from the credit report. Again, the creditor does not have to comply, but,
often, they will consider the exchange for a full payment.
The last option is to simply wait. Most items on a person’s credit report drop off after
seven years. If a negative account is still on your report after the seven-year mark, you can try to
dispute the account and have it removed.