How often do you check your credit report? It’s good practice to pay close attention to the details on your report like your activity, history, and the status of your accounts. You also want to be mindful of any items that show up as charged off.
What Does Charged Off Mean?
A charged off item is a delinquent account that has been taken off the creditor’s books. Basically, you had an outstanding debt on your credit card, auto loan, personal loan, or student debt that a creditor has given up trying to collect.
Your debt was originally an asset to your creditor, but the lender considered it charged off as a loss after going unpaid for so long.
How Does It Affect Your Credit?
A charged off account can stay on a credit report for seven years. If you have a previous debt that was charged off, it won’t change even if you start making payments on that debt. You’ll have to wait it out until it drops from your credit report. In the meantime, there are things you can do to help your future credit. By making timely payments to your other debts, you’ll add positive information to your credit report that will help you shine more.
When Your Credit Will Improve
About two years after an account is charged off, you should start to see your credit score move in the right direction. And if you’re still making other debt payments on time, this will help add positive information to your credit report each month—which can improve your credit even quicker.
How To Get Your Credit Report
If you haven’t seen your credit report recently, you can request a copy from one of the three credit reporting bureaus, Experian, Equifax, or TransUnion. The federal government mandates that they must provide you with one free copy of your credit report every year.
You can call or write to any of the three agencies to request your free credit report—or you can request one from all three at www.annualcreditreport.com.
However, you may want to get your reports one at a time at three-month intervals. That way, you can monitor your credit throughout the year and avoid paying for additional copies.
Where To Get Your Credit Score
Details from your credit report typically determine your credit score, so it’s also good practice to keep watch on your score as well. In most cases, a higher score is more appealing to lenders.
You can find your FICO credit score online at www.myfico.com. You’ll have to pay a $20 fee, or you may be able to get it waived with a free trial to another FICO program.
Experian, Equifax, or TransUnion can also provide a VantageScore credit score, but it’s not typically free.
Bouncing Back From Debt
Managing debt can be stressful and might feel never-ending. If you’re under a load of debt and are wondering how to work through it, National Debt Relief can help you turn things around. Our debt advisors can help you reduce or pay off your debt—for much less than you owe—in as little as 24-48 months.