How to Remove Charge-offs from Your Credit Report

October 18, 2023 | 4 min read

Credit Saint

Written By:

Credit Saint

Ashley Davison

Reviewed By:

Ashley Davison

Navigating the world of credit can be challenging, especially when dealing with charge-offs on your credit report. Having a charge-off can significantly damage your credit score, making it crucial to understand how you can potentially remove it. Removing charge-offs can significantly improve your creditworthiness and open doors to better financial opportunities.

What is a Charge-off?

A charge-off is a financial term used by creditors when they consider a debt to be uncollectible, typically due to prolonged non-payment by the borrower. It indicates that a creditor or lender has given up on collecting an outstanding debt and has marked it as a loss in their financial books. However, it’s important to note that a charge-off does not mean you’re off the hook from the debt. The creditor can still attempt to collect the debt or sell it to a collection agency. Charge-offs have a detrimental impact on your credit score and financial standing, making it crucial to address or resolve them to mitigate their long-term effects.

How do Charge-offs Affect My Credit?

Charge-offs have a significant negative impact on your credit. When a debt is charged off, it appears as a major delinquency on your credit report, causing your credit score to drop substantially. This can make it more challenging to secure new credit or loans, and it may also result in higher interest rates if you are approved for credit in the future.

A charge-off can remain on your credit report for up to 7 years from the date of the first missed payment that led to the charge-off.

Can I Remove a Charge-off from My Credit Report?

Yes, it’s possible to remove a charge-off from your credit report, but it’s not always easy. Here’s how:

Before taking any action, validate the debt to ensure the charge-off is legitimate. It’s possible for credit report errors to occur. Obtain copies of your credit reports from the three major credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. Review them for any inaccuracies related to the charge-off, such as the date of the first missed payment or the amount owed.

If you identify any discrepancies in the charge-off entry on your credit report, you have the right to dispute it with the credit bureaus. If the creditor cannot verify the information, the charge-off must be removed.

If the debt is valid, here are options you can try:

  1. Pay for Delete: Some creditors might be willing to remove the charge-off from your credit report if you pay the outstanding debt. This is known as a “pay for delete” agreement. While not all creditors will agree to this, it’s worth a shot. Remember to get any agreement in writing.
  2. Negotiate a Settlement: Contact the creditor or collection agency and negotiate a settlement. If a “pay for delete” agreement isn’t feasible, you can still negotiate with the creditor. They might agree to update the status of the account to “paid” or “settled” if you clear the outstanding debt.
  3. Wait for the Statute of Limitations: Charge-offs have a limited legal collection period. After the statute of limitations expires, the creditor can’t collect or report the debt.

If you’re finding the process overwhelming or have multiple charge-offs or other negative items, consider seeking assistance from a credit repair company. They can provide guidance, handle negotiations, and assist with disputes.

How Long Does a Charge-off Stay on My Credit Report?

A charge-off can linger on your credit report for up to seven years from the date of the first delinquency that led to the charge-off. During this time, it can significantly impact your credit score and borrowing capabilities. If you’re seeking assistance in addressing charge-offs and improving your credit, consider enlisting the services of reputable credit repair companies like Credit Saint, which can help you navigate the process of repairing and rebuilding your credit.

How Can I Rebuild My Credit After a Charge-off?

Rebuilding your credit after a charge-off involves responsible financial practices. Start by paying your bills on time and reducing existing debt. Establishing a history of on-time payments and responsible credit use is crucial. Consider applying for a secured credit card or becoming an authorized user on someone else’s account to gradually rebuild your credit. It’s a gradual process, but over time, these positive financial habits can help improve your credit score and financial standing.

Do Credit Repair Companies Help Remove Charge-offs?

Credit repair companies may offer assistance in addressing charge-offs, but it’s essential to exercise caution. While some claim to have the ability to remove charge-offs from your credit report, the reality is that the process can be complex and not guaranteed. Legitimate credit repair companies like Credit Saint can help you dispute inaccuracies and errors on your credit report, which may include improperly reported charge-offs. However, removing accurate charge-offs may be challenging, and it’s essential to approach such services with realistic expectations.

Bottom Line

Your credit report plays a pivotal role in your financial well-being. A charge-off on your credit report can be a financial setback, but it’s not insurmountable. By being proactive, verifying information, negotiating with creditors, and focusing on overall credit repair, you can work toward a healthier financial future. While working on removing the charge-off, it’s essential to focus on rebuilding your credit. Ensure you pay all your other bills on time, keep credit card balances low, and avoid taking on excessive new debt. Remember, patience and persistence are key, and every step you take toward financial responsibility will benefit your credit health in the long run.

Ashley Davison

Reviewed By:

Ashley Davison


Ashley is currently the Chief Compliance Officer for Credit Saint, previously the Chief Operating Officer. Ashley got into the Financial world by working as a Logistics Coordinator at Ernst & Young. Coming from a previous career in education, she is eager to teach the world everything she knows and learn everything that she doesn’t! Ashley is a FICO® certified professional, a Board Certified Credit Consultant, a Certified Credit Score Consultant with the Credit Consultants Association of America, UDAAP certified, and holds a Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) Compliance Certificate.