Paying Off Charged Off Account Will Not Restart 7 Year Time Frame

Woman paying bills at laptop on bedroom floor
Dear Experian,

If a charged off credit card is about to drop off and I pay it off, can the creditor restart the seven year time frame on my report?

- PYR

Dear PYR,

Paying off your charged off account would result in the account being updated to show "Paid" for the time remaining, but it would not restart or extend the amount of time the item will remain on your report.

How Long Can a Charged Off Account Remain on My Report?

The seven year time frame is calculated from the date of the first delinquency that lead up to the charge off status, or the original delinquency date. Contacting your creditor to pay off a charged off account has no impact on when it will be removed.

Will My Account Still Show "Charge Off" Once It is Paid?

Once you pay the debt, your credit report will be updated to reflect that the debt is now paid in full, but it will still show that it was written off prior to being paid.

Paying off the account may not result in an immediate increase in your credit scores. However, it may help reduce the impact over time. Some lenders may view a paid charge off more favorably than an unpaid one, so paying off a charged off account could also be beneficial if your report is being reviewed manually.

Thanks for asking.
Jennifer White, Consumer Education Specialist

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