The accounting phrase “charge-off” denotes that a creditor believes debt to be uncollectible. This may result from a failure to carry out a settlement agreement, an agreement not to collect a certain amount, a past-due debt, or other circumstances. These sums are disclosed to credit reporting companies and can show up on credit reports. Charged-off debt is still owing, and until a settlement agreement is struck and effectively carried out, creditors may continue to attempt to collect it.

A charge-off typically happens after 180 days or six months of unpaid debt when the creditor determines that the debt is uncollectible. If the debtor doesn’t make up the difference, payments that are less than the minimum necessary for the time period will also be charged off. The debt is written off by the creditor as uncollectible and appears as a charge-off on the consumer’s credit record.

A charge-off on your credit record can have a negative impact on your credit score and make it more challenging to secure future credit approvals or credit at reasonable interest rates.

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