Payment Plans and Charge Offs on Your Credit Report

Woman paying bills at laptop on bedroom floor
Dear Experian,

I have a charge off from 2009. I am in a payment plan. Does this mean I started the clock over on when the charge off will be removed?

- EYJ

Dear EYJ,

Entering the payment plan did not "restart the clock" for removing the charge off unless you opened a new account and rolled the debt into it.

Federal law requires that lenders and collection agencies report the original delinquency date of the debt, which is when the seven-year time starts. That date cannot be changed, even if the lender sells or transfers it to a new owner.

If your account was charged off, or written off as a loss, that account will still be removed once the seven years is up, even if you are now making payments on the debt.

In this case, once the account is paid off, the status of the account will be updated to show that it is a "Paid Charge off". Although the account will still be negative due to the payment history, a paid charge off does look a little better than an unpaid charge off.

Thanks for asking.
The "Ask Experian" team

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