How to Remove a Charge Off from Your Credit Report

Though you are still responsible for paying the debt, a charge off can appear on your credit report for up to seven years after the debt was charged off by the creditor, so naturally, people want to know how to remove a charge off from their credit reports, because they can be highly detrimental to a person's credit score. It is not easy to remove a charge off, but it can be done. Remember, a debt is charged off by a creditor when the person is 180 days late on their payments. The best thing to do in order to get a charge off removed from a credit report is to negotiate with the lender. 

Talking to the Creditor

Chances are the account is in collections, but skip talking to the collection agency, because they will not be able to do anything to remove the charge off from the credit report. Talk to the original creditor and don't waste time talking to someone who doesn't have the authority to remove the charge off from the report. Before getting in touch with the creditor, it is best to know how much of the balance that can be paid and when. The higher percentage of the balance that can be paid, and the sooner the payment can be made, the better the result will be when negotiating with the creditor. Speak professionally and get straight to the point. Let them know you are willing to make a payment of X amount by X date in order to get the charge off removed from your account.

Get an Agreement in Writing

Keep in mind that some creditors will say whatever it takes to get some form of payment back on a debt. It is very important to get the agreement made in writing. The agreement should contain information about the date and time the agreement was made, the employee who approved the agreement, the payment amount, and state the payment will be made in exchange for having the charge off removed from the credit report. If possible, get the agreement mailed from the company on their letterhead. Alternatively, draw up an agreement, send it to the company via certified mail with return receipt and request the company official sign the agreement and return a copy. Do not make any payment until the agreement has been put in writing. Consider the difference between what you paid and what you owed may be sent to you on a 1099 form at the end of the year to be filed with your taxes, because the money you are saving technically becomes income.

If the Creditor Doesn't Agree

If the creditor does not agree to remove the charge off no matter what negotiations are made, it will be up to the individual as to whether or not they should pay the account. It is important to consider that creditors can continue to collect the debt and even sue for it for seven years after the charge off date, so for the next seven years, the individual will experience issues getting credit. There are some lenders that will not grant a loan or credit if there are any past due accounts, so if this is the case, the individual should pay the account anyway. 

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