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Closing Credit Card Accounts

Kimberly Lankford

You can't erase an account that wasn't in good standing from your credit report just by closing it.



I know that I shouldn't close old credit accounts that are in good standing because they can help my credit history. But what happens if I close an account that wasn't in good standing? Will that information still appear on my credit record?

You can't erase the black mark just by closing the account. Closed accounts stay on your credit report for ten years, and any negative information will remain for seven years before it's purged.

And you're right to keep old accounts open if they're in good standing. A closed account "isn't quite as meaningful as an open account in predicting risk," says Maxine Sweet, of the credit bureau Experian, but it's still a positive. Even better, says Sweet, is to manage your current accounts well by not missing payments and keeping your balances well under your credit limit.

For more information, see Demystifying Your Credit Score.

Got a question? Ask Kim at askkim@kiplinger.com.




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