Charged off debt: A negative item, that lowers credit score.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 07/03/2008 - 12:58

I found my account charged off in my credit report. Does it mean that I need not repay the debt amount back.

Any type of credit account, be it credit card or home loans, may be labeled as charged off in your credit report if you have some debt to repay back and more than six months has passed since you made your last payment. If your account has been charged off, it does not necessarily mean that you need not pay back the debt. Instead, you may be sued by the creditor for the amount you owe him.

Thu, 07/03/2008 - 13:31 Permalink

Actually if you find your account charged off in your credit report, it does not mean that you are exempted from paying the debt. It is just a negative listing on your credit report which will stay there for seven years. It is always better to pay off the charged off, as after you paid it off, it will show "paid charged off" in your report, which in no doubt better than just showing "charged off" in your report.

Fri, 07/04/2008 - 06:34 Permalink

it's not a good idea to ever ask do i need to pay it back but,the only way you can not pay it and not get sued is if the debt is past the statute of limitations

Mon, 07/07/2008 - 06:07 Permalink

You are right, the statute of limitations is your protection against getting sued.

Mon, 07/07/2008 - 15:45 Permalink

If you have already a charged off debt, and it got reflected on your credit report, it has two negative effect. FIrstly, it will stay in your CR for seven years and will adversely affect your credit score. Secondly, there is also a chance of getting sued by the creditor which may result into Wage garnishment. If your SOL has expired then it is good because you cannot be sued anymore. But if it has not expired yet, it is better to pay off the dues. Once you pay off the dues the credit report will reflect "paid charge off" as said by Mary. This is no doubt better than "charge off" listing.

Tue, 07/08/2008 - 09:46 Permalink

Hi goodnatured
"Paid in full" listing does not necessarily improve your credit score. However its impact on your credit score is smaller that if it is listed as "charge off". So it is always better to avoid charge offs by coming to a repayment agreement with the creditor soon as you fall back in your payments. Be it "charge off" or "paid charge off", both has negative impact on your credit score. But "paid charge off" may at least give your creditor a positive outlook of you whenever you are applying for a new line of credit.

Fri, 07/11/2008 - 12:01 Permalink

true, if they can see past the negative, I guess you could explain your situation better if the accounts are paid.

Fri, 07/11/2008 - 21:23 Permalink

I guess I could see where a possible lender may look more favorably on accounts that were charged off and then paid versus accounts that would be charged off and never paid.

Sat, 07/12/2008 - 01:57 Permalink

You should always try to negociate a pay for delete when paying off debt. At the very least try to get the CA to simply write paid on the account status. a listing thst says paid collections isn't very good for your credit.

Sun, 07/13/2008 - 01:29 Permalink

As far as I know, charge off listing cannot be removed from the credit report. It stays on the credit report for seven years. You can ask the creditor to list your account as "paid as agreed" after you pay off the dues, as any other listing will have negative impact on your credit report. Even "paid charge off" has a negative impact on your credit report. But one should get everything in writing before paying off the dues in full.

Mon, 07/14/2008 - 10:42 Permalink

Yes Mary is right, charge off listing can never be completely removed from your credit report once it gets listed. So it is always advisable to avoid charge off by all means before it gets listed in your report, as it will stay in your report for seven years and hamper your score. For this one must always come to a repayment agreement with the creditor before the creditor list the charge off in your report.

Tue, 07/15/2008 - 13:52 Permalink

You have to be patient, it takes a while to get them off your report, then it will happen.

Wed, 07/16/2008 - 02:08 Permalink

Yes, charge off listing is not good for the credit score. Once charge off gets listed in your credit report it stays there for seven years plus 180 days from the date it is reported in the CRAs. Moreover, charge off can lower your credit score by as much as 100 points. So one should always avoid charge offs by coming to a repayment agreement with the creditor.

Wed, 07/16/2008 - 10:49 Permalink

Wow, that is a lot, I had no idea that it lowered your score that much, that is a lot. Now how does it affect your score if you had the charge off, but have charged them off?

Wed, 07/16/2008 - 13:46 Permalink

Hi goodnatured
Even if you pay off the charge off, the sad part of the thing is that it will hardly improve your FICO score. However, it is always advisable to pay off a charge off account because it gives a better look to your credit report, mostly when your future creditor is going through your credit history.

Thu, 07/17/2008 - 07:05 Permalink
lombardifamily09 (not verified)

You CAN delete a charge off from your credit report. I have done it MANY times. I have had 35 negatives on my credit report. 18 of which were charge offs. I wrote dispute letters over and over and over again and kept sending them to all 3 credit reporting agencies... then I kept requesting ALL original documents as required by law they have to give them to you to prove to YOU not you prove to them !! YOU ARE IN CHARGE if you want to be.. grow some balls and dispute EVERYTHING over and over again... PS send ALL documents with a return when received card !! that way they know you are serious... i went from 35 negatives down to 3 negatives...... be persistant !!

Thu, 08/28/2008 - 15:50 Permalink

Good job Lom. Hopefully maybe GN will stop back and she can read this post and get some of hers off. She has been working on her credit for a while and doing a awesome job.

Fri, 08/29/2008 - 00:49 Permalink
josie (not verified)

If I have a charge off and now being sued what is the statue of limitations

Mon, 02/15/2010 - 17:22 Permalink

Hi Josie,

It would have been much more easier, to answer your query if you had been clear on the can kind of debt you have and the state where you live. Statute of limitations (SOL) depends both on the state and the type of account. It is different for oral contract, written contract, promissory note and open ended account.

SOL in regard to debt, is the time limit within which, the creditor can sue you for not paying the debt. However time limit for a charged off account to fall off your credit report is 7 years.

You can check out the SOL of your state for more details.

Tue, 02/16/2010 - 07:47 Permalink
?laura? (not verified)

my husband has 8 medical accounts that were turned to collections. all were paid in full. his report just says paid. is this good or bad? should i try to have them changed to paid in full?

Thu, 03/11/2010 - 21:28 Permalink
Mike1995 (not verified)

I have a charge off on my report that has been there since 08. I haven't heard anything from the creditor for 2 years and get a call out of the blue today about it. I am in the process of fixing my credit and have brought my score up from 572 to almost 700 already without touching this one, and I have sent a couple more which should take me over 700. What should I do about this charge-off? I live in WV and I believe the SOL here is 2yrs. Now I don't want to update the date on my credit report either, because that will negatively effect my score. I am pretty sure this is a different creditor for this debt, so could this go on my report a second time for the same item? Thanks for any help.

Tue, 07/13/2010 - 13:24 Permalink

Hi Mike,

You can request the creditor to pull back the account from the collection agency. Once an account is charged off, it gets handed over to a collection agnecy. If the creditor agrees to pull back the account, you can request the creditor to agree to a "Pay for delete" (PFD) agreement. With the PFD, the charge-off will get removed from your account. Remember to get the agreements in writing.



Fri, 07/16/2010 - 11:45 Permalink

AARON..that's not an AUTOMATIC thing, is it? You said.."with the PFD, the charge off will be removed.." I know someone in a similiar situation..that's why I'm asking. My friend lives here (in PA). I know there is a SOL of 4 years for negative debts. the SOL still the same for 'charge-offs'?

Fri, 07/16/2010 - 11:58 Permalink

Hi sdchargers,

With "Pay for delete" (PFD) the charge-off can get removed only if the original creditor or lender agrees to the PFD. Not all creditors agree to PFD.

I know there is a SOL of 4 years for negative debts. the SOL still the same for 'charge-offs'?

I am sorry, I quite don't understand you. Statute of Limitations is 4 years for negative debts? You mean negative things stay on credit report for 4 years? ANy negative things, and charge-offs will stay on the credit report for 7 years.



Sat, 07/17/2010 - 07:57 Permalink

AARON..sorry I wasn't too clear on my question. I meant do 'charge-off's' stay on a credit report as long as any OTHER negative debt? THAT'S what I mean to ask. answered my question. Thanks.

Sun, 07/18/2010 - 01:25 Permalink
Mike2010 (not verified)

If an item is charged off on your credit report over 2 years ago, can they come back at you and try to collect again?

Thu, 07/22/2010 - 17:19 Permalink

Seven years is a long time to wait for something to come off your report. When I was younger I did not think too much about it then about 3 or 4 years into the 7 you need something and the negative comes back to bite you hard.

Fri, 07/23/2010 - 00:25 Permalink
Mike2010 (not verified)

That didn't answer my question if it was in response to me.

Fri, 07/23/2010 - 15:18 Permalink

Hi Mike,

Yes, the collection agency can still collect on a charged off account even after two years if the Statute of Limitations have not expired.



Thu, 07/29/2010 - 10:09 Permalink
Mike2010 (not verified)


How do I find out what the statue of limitations are in my state? I live in WV. This happened at a time when I was laid off so when it was charged off I forgot about it, and now having them contact me now out of blue has thrown me off. Thank you for any advice you can share.

Thu, 07/29/2010 - 13:29 Permalink

Hi Mike,

The Statute of Limitations (SOL) in Virginia is 3 years for oral contracts and open ended accounts. 5 years for written contracts, and 6 years for promissory notes.

Check out from your credit report when was the last payment made. The SOL starts from the date of last payment made.



Fri, 07/30/2010 - 10:49 Permalink
mike2010 (not verified)


West Virginia is where I live. I will check when I made my last payment. So the date of the charge-off has no real meaning, just when I made my last payment?

Fri, 07/30/2010 - 12:49 Permalink

Hi Mike,

The SOL for both East and West Virginia is same. Well, the date of charge-off do have a meaning, but it does not have a relation to the SOL on debt. I mean that the charge-off date will have no effect on the date of your last payment. However, the charge-off will remain in your credit report for 7 years from the date of entry on the credit report, if not removed by the creditor.

Hope that this helps.



Sat, 07/31/2010 - 11:45 Permalink
mike2010 (not verified)


So on my CR it shows my last payment as of Nov 2007. This was an item purchased over the phone so I don't recall signing anything. Basically what I am getting at is what would your advice be on this situation? It's an old bill that was charged off more then 2 years ago, that out of nowhere has come back. I am not in the best financial place at the moment, but I also don't want my wages to get garnished which could be worse.

Mon, 08/02/2010 - 12:55 Permalink

Hi Mike,

The SOL on this account will expire in November, 2010. Well if this is a collection agency, you can try validating the debt first. This will atleast give you some time to save money so that you can make payments on this account, if the debt comes back validated. However, you can also request the original creditor to pull back the account from the collection agency.

If the creditor agrees to pull back (and can pull back), you can then get a payment agreement with the creditor, or settle the debt. Debt settlement lowers the outstanding debt amount by 40-60%. Get the settlement agreement inn writing. Also request the creditor for a "Pay for delete" PFD agreement. With PFD the charge-off will get removed.



Tue, 08/03/2010 - 10:07 Permalink
chops1224 (not verified)

i have a charged off on my credit report (Mortgage) it is almost going to be more than 10 yrs in Oct. Is it a good idea to pay it off or can it be removed?

Wed, 08/11/2010 - 02:16 Permalink
PaperworkQueen (not verified)

In 11/2009 I paid off all my debt, it was all behind due to medical reasons. I paid directly to the orig debtor. Unknown to me the debt had been sold to an collection agency. I paid the debts in full before ever hearing from the collection agency. Result, I have a listing for the original debtor as being late (true) I have an entry from the collection agency for the same debt showing me late the months of 11/09. 12/09 and 1/10 (after the debt was paid in full!) What can I do to get this corrected? HELP!

Wed, 01/19/2011 - 05:40 Permalink
crorkz matz (not verified)

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Tue, 08/05/2014 - 21:51 Permalink