How Can I Deal with Collections and Charge Offs That Keep Coming Back on Credit Report?

Question from cat: Please help me with advice on collections and charge offs that keep coming back verified on my credit report?


Dealing with collections and charge-offs that keep reappearing as verified on your credit report can be frustrating. However, there are several steps you can take to address this issue.

Understand Your Credit Report

Firstly, it’s important to understand what these terms mean. A collection is a debt that’s been sold to a collection agency, while a charge-off is a debt that the original lender has written off as a loss. Both of these can negatively impact your credit score.

Verify the Debt

If a debt keeps coming back as verified, it means the credit bureau has confirmed the debt is yours. However, errors can occur. According to the Federal Trade Commission, one in five people have an error on at least one of their credit reports. Therefore, it’s crucial to:

  • Request a validation of the debt from the collection agency. They should provide you with information about the original debt and proof that it’s yours.
  • Dispute the debt with the credit bureau if you believe it’s not yours or if the collection agency can’t provide adequate validation.

Pay Off the Debt

If the debt is indeed yours, the best course of action is to pay it off. According to Experian, one of the three major credit bureaus, paying off a collection account can improve your credit score. However, the impact of a paid collection on your credit score can vary depending on the scoring model used.

Negotiate a Pay for Delete Agreement

In some cases, you might be able to negotiate a “pay for delete” agreement with the collection agency. This means the agency agrees to remove the collection account from your credit report in exchange for payment. However, not all collection agencies will agree to this, and it’s important to get the agreement in writing.

Wait for the Debt to Age Off

If you can’t pay off the debt or negotiate a pay for delete agreement, you can wait for the debt to age off your credit report. According to the Fair Credit Reporting Act, most negative information, including collections and charge-offs, must be removed from your credit report after seven years.

Remember, improving your credit score takes time and patience. It’s also a good idea to regularly check your credit report to ensure all the information is accurate. If you’re struggling with debt, consider seeking advice from a non-profit credit counseling agency. They can provide you with tools and resources to better manage your debt and improve your financial situation.

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