Equifax

Finance Blog

How Long Do Closed Accounts Stay on My Credit Report?

Written by Diane Moogalian on August 19, 2013 in Credit  |   19 comments

The question of how long closed accounts remain on a credit report is one of the most frequently asked on the Equifax Finance Blog. Whether you request that a creditor close an account on your behalf or a creditor closes an account after seeing a…

credit, credit reportThe question of how long closed accounts remain on a credit report is one of the most frequently asked on the Equifax Finance Blog. Whether you request that a creditor close an account on your behalf or a creditor closes an account after seeing a long period of inactivity, the account history usually won’t immediately be erased from your credit file.

Q: How long do closed accounts stay on my credit report?

A: First things first: Closing an account does not remove it from your credit report. Even if you close an inactive account, you could still have recent account activity posted on your credit summary if the creditor reports something to the reporting agencies, like a change in the report date or the account’s date of last activity, for example.

The exact length of time the closed account appears on your credit report, however, will depend on the payment history of the closed account.

There are set time periods for how long closed accounts and negative information remain on a credit report, depending on the type. Generally speaking, negative information will stay on your credit report for seven years from the date of last activity, but bankruptcies can appear on your credit report for 10 years from the date of last activity.

Let’s walk through a few scenarios to help you better understand what really happens:

Accounts in good standing: Credit accounts that are closed but were paid as agreed, will normally remain on your credit report for up to 10 years from the date of last activity. Positive information on open accounts in good standing, however, can stay on your credit report forever.

Charged off accounts: On the other hand, accounts that were not paid as agreed and charged off (meaning the debt became seriously delinquent and the creditor has given up on being paid and has closed the account to future use, although the debt is still owed)will generally remain on your credit report for seven years plus 180 days from the start of the delinquency that led to the charge off..

Account in collections: If you have an account in collections, it will usually remain on your credit report for seven years plus 180 days from the date the account first became past due. The countdown to the account falling off your credit report begins 180 days after the start of the delinquency that led to the collection. Closing the account doesn’t remove it from collections, nor does it remove the collection and payment history from your credit report.

As you continue to monitor your credit report going forward, always make sure that your negative accounts have fallen off after the appropriate period of time has elapsed.

Remember that if you have ever disputed an item on your credit report and the resulting investigation did not end in a resolution, you have the right to file a free statement in order to explain the events that led to the negative information reporting on your Equifax credit file. Once submitted, you can either edit the statement or ask that it be removed from your credit report at no cost.

Diane Moogalian is vice president of operations for Equifax Personal Solutions with responsibility for operational strategy and execution in support of customer care and fulfillment of credit and identity-related products for consumers. Prior to joining Equifax in 2007, Diane held several strategic roles with leading financial services companies. Diane graduated from the University of Richmond with a bachelor of science degree in business administration (marketing and economics) and earned a certificate in international business from Virginia Commonwealth University.

19 comments

  1. Larry McLaughlin says:

    Why does your company not correct credit report errors? I was horrified by the 6- Minutes report last night on CBS.

  2. Lou says:

    I think it’s terrible that when you payoff collections on your credit report, which mine were due to being unemployed and they still report them as collections are charge-offs for up to seven years. When persons are trying to re-establish themselves by paying off these debts it should be deleted. The credit reports still show you as a credit risk and you still
    can’t get credit. I couldn’t even get a secured credit card because they
    report the collection accounts that are paid in full.

    • john says:

      If you paid the debt in full usally you have to dispute it .
      then those companies wont responde so it will be removed or updated

      • Mitch says:

        Don’t believe that! I paid off my car and two credit cards and it is still on my credit as a negative. Due to hardship I got behind, but in the end paid it off. Won’t let me dispute it even though it has been since 2008.

  3. Karina Rizo says:

    I totally agree with Lou. I paid off all my negative accounts and they still show up as negative and collection and my credit score is the same as if I still have not paid them. What is up with that? It has to be a way that that can be changed so people trying to fix their credit by paying off an account that has been put in collections can reestablish their credit.

    • Anonymous says:

      The point of a credit report is to give the creditor a picture of what type of person the potential borrower is (financially speaking). Just because you suddenly became financially stable enough to pay off your debts does not mean you’ll never do it again. It’s like trusting a heroin addict who has been sober for a few months. I wouldn’t loan him money either.

  4. lloyd says:

    If a collection account is paid it should be removed,,,, that’s my opinion,,, why even bother paying a collection if its still going to screw up a credit report..f#@+ it I guess ill just wait 7 years and keep my money.

  5. John L. says:

    The only conclusion is, when an account goes into ‘collection’ accept the fact your credit score will suffer for 7 yrs.

    Credit reporting companies (Equifax, Experian & Transunion) accept data from their (paying) reporting members only. Affidavits & bonafide court/ public documents are not accepted by Equifax, Transunion & Experian. Their ‘business model’ is a blatant government sanctioned/ protected cartel.

    So everyone w/ discharged mortgages, divorce decrees, expunged convictions, etc. forget thinking Equifax, Transunion, Experian, et. al. will accept & enter the obviously valid documentation into your credit file.

    Reporting members are not known for their generosity in assisting non-members in clearing up old accounts & sullied reputations.

    And no, individuals are not eligible to be ‘reporting members’ – not even for a (steep) membership fee.

  6. Robert M. says:

    I’m sorry but I’m still not so clear on this…
    I have an old Chase credit card account that was cancelled due to delinquint payments exactly 7 years ago this past December (12/2006) – Is that considered the date the account first became past due? My report shows that the last payment I made was on 4/2008 – well after the account was closed. So, will this “drop off” my credit report 180 days from now, or 180 days from 4/2008?

  7. Anonymous says:

    credit reporting agencies are bottom feeders and are there for 1 purpose and its to ruin good ppl who went through a rough spell. hell i have stuff showing on mine that has been closed for 10 yrs. so the 7yrs is a bunch of shit. they work with the credit reoair ppl to so they can get yor money that away as well

  8. Anonymous says:

    Well I have items on mine that don’t even belong to me, been trying to get them removed, but, have had no response from anyone.

  9. anonymous says:

    I live in NYS and I had a paid judgement which was filed 3/2009 removed by experian & transunion because it was five years. Equifax will not remove it next month. Why? All agencies should be on the same page.

  10. Credit's complicated says:

    I don’t think people who have excellent credit and look down on people who don’t will ever understand until they have been in our shoes. I had excellent credit and paid all my bills on time. Then boom one day got laid off! went through hell trying to support my family and had to choose. Food on the table, lights or credit. I wish I could have made it all work but no way. Now my credit is shot and had to file bankruptcy just to try to get things back on track and now can’t get any credit to try to fix anything. It’s all a hot mess when it comes to credit. And just because my life took a turn when I lost my job and had to make choices doesn’t mean the I will allows be late on my payments and I am a bad risk. Which I understand creditors don’t care about our situations at all.

  11. Waited out the 7 year curse says:

    What it boils down to is once an account is closed for negative reasons or goes into collection status, there is really no reason to pay it off. Paying it will not change the negative impact it had on your credit, and it will be there for 7 years regardless of whether you end up paying it or not. Once the state statute of limitations has been reached, you cannot be sued or have any legal action taken against you. In Georgia, this is after two years. Each state is different, but very few are for the entire 7 year period. I say save your money so you can pay cash for what you need during the 7 years that the account messes up your credit!

  12. Good people have bad credit! says:

    We were going to file bankruptcy but we can only file a chapter 13 and the restrictions on that are insane. I was wondering about my charged off accounts and I figured out that so far 15,000 of my debt has been charged off. In reality this means that the total that I would owe for bankruptcy is actually 15,000 less as I reported those bills also. Is this a correct assumption?

  13. Erin says:

    Ok I have a question. I had a credit card and they closed it because I took out a student loan which lowered my credit score. I still had a balance on the credit card when they closed my account. Is the 10 year rule still true if the lender was the one who closed my account and not my choice? If so, when does the 10 year period begin? From the date I pay off the balance? Or from the date the account was closed?

  14. Marie says:

    I am in the process right now of fixing my credit. I am doing this all on my own. No help from settlement agencies. I have accounts in collections, accounts past due and charged off accounts. What I am doing works for all of them. I send a certified letter to the company with an amount I am willing to settle for, usually 40%. with the stipulation that if they accept my offer once the settlement is paid they must remove their account from my credit report. Then if the company accepts this they send me back a letter with their acceptance and agreement to my stipulations in writing. I keep copies of everything. And check my credit report 3 months after payment, this is how long it usually takes for the account to be removed. The companies can do this, its within their power. It is their job to do this if they want money. It works try it.

    • Rachel says:

      Is this for the company (the company’s collection office) the debt is with or will it work for a collection agency that is handling the debt?


Leave a Comment


Name :


Commenting guidelines

We welcome your interest and participation on this forum, but be aware that comments will be published at Equifax's sole discretion. Please don't use this blog to submit questions or concerns about your Equifax credit report or raise customer service issues. Instead, you should contact Equifax directly for all such matters and any attempts to do so in this forum will be promptly re-directed.

Some other factors to consider when commenting:
  1. Registration and privacy. While no registration is required to visit our forum, participants wishing to post a message must register by creating an account. All personal information provided by forum members incident to registration is governed by our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.
  2. All comments are anonymous. We'll delete your name, e-mail address, and any other identifying information, including details about your investments.
  3. We can't post or respond to every comment - As much as we'd like to, we can't post every comment, nor can we guarantee that we will respond to each individual message. All questions or comments about your Equifax credit report or similar customer service issues should be handled by contacting Equifax directly.
  4. Don't offer specific legal, tax or financial advice. All of the materials on this Site are for information, education, and noncommercial purposes only and this forum is not intended as a means of expressing views or ideas regarding any specific legal, tax, or investment advice. While offering general rules of thumb is both permitted and encouraged, recommending specific ideas or strategies regarding investments, taxes, and related matters is prohibited.
  5. Credit Repair. This blog is not intended as a venue for the discussion or exchange of ideas regarding credit repair or other strategies intended to assist visitors and community members improve or otherwise modify their credit histories, ratings or scores.
  6. Stay on topic. Your comment should be concise and pertain to the specific post in question.
  7. Be respectful of the community. The use of profanity, offensive language, spam, and personal attacks will not be tolerated and egregious or repeat offenders will be banned from future participation. We encourage disagreement and healthy debate, but please refrain from personal attacks on our WordPresss and contributors.
  8. Finally: Participation in this forum may be terminated by Equifax immediately and without notice for failure to comply with any guidelines or Terms of Use. As such, you should familiarize yourself with all pertinent requirements prior to submitting any response through the blog or otherwise. All opinions expressed in this forum are solely those of the individual submitting the comment, and don't necessarily represent the views of Equifax or its management.

Equifax maintains this interactive forum for education and information purposes in order to allow individuals to share their relevant knowledge and opinions with other members and visitors. We encourage you to participate in discussions about personal finance issues and other topics of interest to this community, but please read our commenting guidelines first. Equifax reserves the right to monitor postings to the forum and comments will be published at our discretion. Do you have questions or comments about your Equifax credit report or customer-service issues regarding an Equifax product? If so, please contact Equifax directly. All opinions and information expressed or shared in blog comments are solely those of the person submitting the comments, and don't necessarily represent the views of Equifax or its management.


Credit Archive

Stay Informed Sign up for our FREE Equifax email Newsletter