Charged off student loans still in credit report after being paid in full

Graduates Lifting Mortarboards


Dear Experian,

I have three student loans from about 12 years ago that where charged off. I paid them off in full two years ago, yet they are still reporting on my credit report. They are being reported as paid in full; however, next to that it lists a loan amount and still shows a balance. The loan amount would be the original amount borrowed, but there must be a mistake since it shows a balance even though it states paid in full. Is this affecting my credit score? Should I get a letter stating paid in full from the lender and send it in to you?

-        MKD


Dear MKD,

Negative accounts, or accounts showing late payments, remain on your credit report for seven years from the original delinquency date, which is the first missed payment that led to the charged off status. If your student loans became delinquent less than seven years ago, they still will appear in your history.

Additionally, if an account was charged off/written off as a loss, it will continue show the amount that was written off as well as the original loan amount. Because the loans have a status of “paid in full,” it sounds like this may be what you are seeing on your credit report rather than an account balance.

Although the charged off amount is still reported, the balance amount should show $0 or N/A. If that’s the case, then the accounts are appearing as they should be, and it isn’t necessary to send a paid in full letter.

Thanks for asking.

Rod Griffin
Director, Public Education

Our policies for Ask Experian:

The information contained in Ask Experian is for educational purposes only and is not legal advice. You should consult your own attorney or seek specific advice from a legal professional regarding your particular situation. Please understand that Experian policies change over time. Posts reflect Experian policy at the time of writing. While maintained for your information, archived posts may not reflect current Experian policy. The Ask Experian team cannot respond to each question individually. However, if your question is of interest to a wide audience of consumers, the Experian team will include it in a future post.