Credit Advice

Paying a collection account after it is deleted from your credit report


Have a question?

Do you have a question about consumer credit? You may find an immediate answer by using the search engine. If you can't find what you're looking for, please fill out the form, being as specific as possible.

Please note: 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 column.

Our policies
The information contained in this column if 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. Column responses reflect Experian policy at the time of writing. While maintained for your information, archived responses may not reflect current Experian policy.

Credit Advice

Paying a collection account after it is deleted from your credit report

Dear Experian,

If you owe a debt that's been either "charged off" or "sold" to a collection agency and it has been past seven years so it is no longer listed on your credit report as "bad" credit and you start to repay the collection agency, will it show up on your credit history that you're making payments and stay there for seven years?


Dear ASE,

The seven year period for deleting an account is measured from the first late payment on the original account. That date is called the original delinquency date. The federal Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions (FACT) Act, requires collection agencies to report the original delinquency date with the collection account. It is illegal to change that date.

Because the deletion period is measured from the original delinquency date, paying a collection account will not cause it to reappear on your credit report or restart the seven-year clock.

Even when a debt can no longer be reported on a credit report, there is the aspect of whether is it is still a legally collectible debt. Most states have laws or statutes of limitations that specify a number of years, after which a debt is no longer collectible. It is my understanding that making payments within that timeframe may extend the statute of limitations on the debt. I am not an attorney, so cannot give legal advice. I suggest you check the debt collection laws that apply for your state.

Thanks for asking.

- The "Ask Experian" team

  • © 2016 Experian Information Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved.