You’re trying to clean up your credit report and get a fresh start. But there’s one problem: a closed account that’s still haunting your credit report. Here’s how to get rid of it for good.
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Request a goodwill letter from the lender
If the account was in good standing at the time you closed it and you have a history of on-time payments, you might be able to have the closed account removed from your credit reports by sending a goodwill letter to your former lender.
In a goodwill letter, you simply explain why you’re requesting that the account be removed and ask that they delete it as a “goodwill” gesture. Be sure to include copies of any documentation that supports your case, such as proof that you always paid on time or that the account was closed due to no fault of your own.
Although there’s no guarantee that your letter will result in the Closed Account being removed from your reports, it’s worth a try, especially if you have other positive information on your credit reports.
Have the lender send you a “pay for delete” letter
If you have a closed account that’s dragging down your credit score, you might be able to get the lender to agree to a “pay for delete.”
With a pay for delete, you agree to pay the outstanding balance on the account, and in exchange, the lender agrees to remove the derogatory mark from your credit report. It’s basically a way to negotiate your way out of a bad situation.
Keep in mind that pay for delete is not something lenders are required to do, so there’s no guarantee that they’ll agree to your request. But it’s definitely worth asking. If you’re successful, it could make a big difference in your credit score.
Dispute the closed account with the credit bureaus
If your closed account is listed on your credit report with a status of “closed,” you might be able to have the credit bureau remove it by contacting the creditor and asking them to update the account status.
Be sure to include documentation from the creditor that verifies the updated account status, and send your dispute directly to the credit bureau—don’t contact the creditor directly, as they are not required to take action on your dispute.
Wait for the closed account to fall off your credit report
The first step is to simply wait for the closed account to fall off your credit report. Depending on the type of account, it will normally stay on your report for 7-10 years after it is closed. After that, it will no longer impact your credit score.
If you have a negative item on your credit report from a closed account, you can also try writing a goodwill letter to the lender. In this letter, you explain why the account was closed and ask them to remove the negative item from your report. Lenders are not legally required to do this, but some may be willing to help out a customer in good standing.
Finally, you can also try creating a new credit file. This involves getting a new social security number and using it to apply for new credit accounts. This is technically illegal, but if done correctly it can help you start fresh with a clean slate. If you choose to go this route, make sure you work with a reputable credit repair company to avoid any legal problems.