http://www.credit.com/credit_information/credit_help/The-Top-10-Credit-Mistakes.jspAccording to this source, an open account is treated as active until it is closed.Looking through my credit reports from myfico, some accounts I haven't used in a long time show zero balance with a recent reporting date. others show the last reporting date as about the time they were paid off, but they're still listed as open. I had to look at reports from a year ago - the recent ones don't show this (which may be the way myfico has changed how it displays the data or it is because that info is not relevant). What one vs the other actually does to the FICO score, i have no idea. I don't know if it is just semantics or if there is a real difference between "open" vs "active". I don't see why there would be - you're still managing the account in the sense that you have the credit available and are using it (or choosing not to use it) responsibly.