When a creditor you owe money to gives up on trying to collect the debt and closes the account it is called a charge off. Charge offs simply mean the remaining balance was written off as a bad debt. Charge offs are then reported to credit bureaus and cause a person's credit rating to fall. Disputing credit report information such as charge offs is an excellent way for people to remove negative marks on their credit report. Clearing away charge offs from your credit report thereby raises your credit score significantly and repairs your credit rating.
Acquire credit reports from Equifax, Experian and TransUnion, which are the three largest American credit agencies. You can get a a free copy of your credit report once a year at Annual Credit Report.com.
Find any charge offs on your credit report you think should be deleted and make a dispute list accordingly. Keep in mind only erroneous or information that cannot be confirmed will be removed by the credit agencies.
Initiate the credit reporting dispute procedure by following each credit agencies dispute guidelines. Each individual agency has its own online dispute area that will help guide you through the dispute process, just follow the instructions.
Choose the appropriate dispute option for deleting the charge off account from the listing given on the agency's dispute form.
Complete the disputes accordingly with the agency by making any supporting comments and hit send. The agency will then process your dispute and check the information given with your creditors. Creditors have only 30 days to respond before the credit agencies will deem the information unverifiable and remove the negative and inflammatory marks against your credit.
Monitor your email for confirmation from the credit agencies on removal of charge offs from your credit report.
Creditors view charge offs as an indication that a person wasn't responsible enough with their finances, thereby untrustworthy on any possible future credit obligations.
Creditors usually charge off debts if they've received no payment for over six months.
Make sure you check your credit report regularly because it is easy to get negative marks on your credit report and not know it. Many people find old accounts that were paid off still active with open balances on their credit reports.
The best time to dispute write offs is at the end of the year around the holiday season, because creditors only have 30 days to confirm the debts and sometimes you may get lucky and the debt will be erased because it can't be verified.
Kimberly Cummings has been a nurse for more than 28 years and has worked in almost every department in the medical field. She's done legal work and is a nonfiction writer. She has worked in business administration for more than 15 years, been in the military and freelanced for Associated Content as a featured health and wellness contributor as well as a featured travel contributor.