QUESTION: Should I close or remove old accounts from my credit report once I pay them off?

ANSWER: One of the best ways to maintain a strong credit score is to show the longest possible credit history on your report. Some people erroneously believe showing old debt is a negative and try to get these accounts closed and removed from their report as soon as they are paid off.

Making an attempt to get rid of negative items from your report can be worthwhile, and the Federal Trade Commission has some helpful tips here. However, closing older credit cards (even when you get a new one with lower rates or more favorable terms) or trying to remove paid-off accounts could have an overall negative impact on your score and weaken your report in the long run.

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