Logo

Charge-Off

February 8, 20233 min read

A debt that is written off as a loss because the financial institution or creditor believes it is no longer collectible due to a substantial period of nonpayment.

A debt that is written off as a loss because the financial institution or creditor believes it is no longer collectible due to a substantial period of nonpayment.

What Is a Charge-Off?  

A charge-off on your credit report indicates the financial institution or creditor has written the account off as a loss and has stopped attempting to collect on a debt that you owe. However, a charge-off does not mean your debt is forgiven—it may be transferred to a collection agency or sold to a debt buyer. As long as the debt remains outstanding, you're still responsible to pay it. 

How Does a Charge-Off Work? 

When you miss a payment on a loan or credit card or have a bank account with a negative balance, the creditor or financial institution will attempt to collect the amount you owe. At some point, the creditor may determine the debt is uncollectible and decide to charge it off. This means the creditor has written off the remaining balance as a loss.  

At this point, the creditor will report the account as “Charged Off” to the credit reporting agencies which will appear on your credit reports along with the account balance. If the charge-off is legitimate and you can't convince the creditor to remove it, a charge-off can remain on your credit reports for up to seven years after your first missed payment. 

Once a creditor has charged off a debt, they may decide to sell it to a debt buyer or transfer it to a debt collection agency for pennies on the dollar. If this happens, your account will be closed, interest will stop accruing on your balance, and your credit report will reflect that the account was "Charged Off." However, you will still be liable for paying off the debt to the debt collection agency. Additionally, the collection agency may report a collection account for the same debt, further impacting your credit score.

Will a Charge-Off Impact Your Credit Score? 

Your payment history is the most influential factor in your FICO credit score. Missing just one payment could have a significant negative impact on your credit score. 

If a debt balance remains unpaid long enough for the creditor to stop attempting to collect payment, the worsening delinquency and subsequent charge-off could have a long-term  and far reaching impact to your credit score.  

For example, a low credit score and history of nonpayment may make it more difficult to get approved for credit in the future. It may also impact your ability to get approved for a residential lease or to qualify for lower interest rates on auto or homeowners insurance.  

How Can You Repair a Charge-Off? 

The best way to repair a charge-off is to prevent it from happening. If you start missing payments, don't ignore the situation. Contact your lender and ask if there’s anything that can be done to help you avoid a charge-off situation. 

In the event your debt is charged off, as long as there is a balance, you’re still responsible for repayment which is why you should consider ways to pay off the debt as soon as possible to avoid having it go to collections. Even if you cannot pay off the debt in full, you may want to consider negotiating a payment settlement with the creditor for less than what you owe or, if necessary, having the debt discharged in bankruptcy.  

In some cases, you may be able to negotiate with the lender to remove the charge-off from your credit report in exchange for full payment—a process known as “pay for delete.” Even if you can't get it removed, paying off the balance could potentially reduce the impact to your credit score.  

If the creditor does sell the debt to a collection agency, you'll face more attempts to collect the amount you owe. Some debt collectors may even resort to lawsuits to force collection through a court order. 

How Can You Limit Charge-Off Damage? 

The timeframe for when a creditor decides to charge-off an account ranges from 120 to 180 days from your initial delinquency date. You'll typically receive letters and phone calls reminding you of the past-due payment, urging you to get caught up. Don't ignore the creditor—this is the best time to talk to the lender to see if you can avoid a charge-off. 

If you've had an account charged off recently, contact the creditor as quickly as possible to verify the accuracy of the account details and look for opportunities to pay off some or all of the debt to avoid transfer to a collection account and further damage to your credit score. 

In some cases, a charge-off could be reported in error. If this happens, it could damage your credit score, so you should act quickly to dispute the negative item with the credit reporting agencies. As long as the dispute isn't frivolous, the credit bureaus are required to investigate it and remove or update the information if it's found to be innacurate.  
 
To contact the credit bureaus:  

If the creditor decides to charge-off your account, it'll only report only to the credit reporting agencies that it normally reports to. For many lenders, it's all three, but some lenders may only report to one or two of the major credit bureaus. 

Keep more of what you earn and earn more on what you save.
Check your rate. It won’t impact your credit score.2
Privacy & Security

You May Also Like

Related Resource Center
Find a loan that not only meets your needs, but one you have a good chance of qualifying for.
Apr 17, 2024
6 min read
Personal Loan Eligibility Criteria You Need to Know Before You Apply
Often a measure of last resort, reasons for filing bankruptcy frequently involve overwhelming medical debt, financial strain due to a divorce, or an unaffordable mortgage.
Oct 17, 2023
6 min read
Exasperated looking young woman sitting at desk looking at laptop holding papers in one hand and her head in the other
Soft inquiries won’t impact your credit scores, and hard inquiries can hurt your scores slightly. Here's what you need to know.
Oct 9, 2023
6 min read
woman on mobile phone image
Identifying red flags and knowing how to correct inaccuracies in your credit report can help keep your credit score in good shape. Here's what you need to know.
Oct 2, 2023
9 min read
How to Read Your Credit Report: Red Flags and Errors You Should Dispute
Want to consolidate high-interest debt, renovate your home, or manage an unexpected expense? A personal loan could help.
Sep 25, 2023
7 min read
Top 4 Reasons to Get a Personal Loan
Related Impact
From groceries and diapers to Halloween costumes for pets, nearly 60% of American consumers prefer to shop online for everyday items that make life more convenient, comfortable, and enjoyable. And with rising prices showing no signs of stopping anytime soon, we’re pleased to introduce StackitTM from LendingClub Bank—a new browser extension that automatically finds and rewards eligible members with coupons and cash back for extra savings at more than 15,000 favorite online retailers.
Nov 13, 2022
2 min read
blog header stackit 765x430 v1-1
Even in today’s low-yield, high-inflation environment, it’s essential to keep a certain amount of money in an easy-to-access checking or savings account for things like daily household and emergency expenses, or to meet short-term financial goals.
Oct 2, 2022
5 min read
LendingClub Rewards Checking Nationally Certified as Trusted, Afforda
Since 2007, LendingClub has been on a mission to deliver a world-class experience to all our members. This month we took a moment to reflect on the more than four million members who have chosen LendingClub as their partner to help them reach their financial goals.
Apr 19, 2022
2 min read
Illustration of large number 4 and letter M made up of colorful, tiny illustrations of ethnically diverse people
In March 2022, we hosted our first quarterly webinar where we celebrated our one-year anniversary as a digital marketplace bank. 
Mar 6, 2022
less than a minute read
Blog-post
LendingClub completed the acquisition of Radius Bank in February 2021. At that time, in addition to the direct-to-consumer deposit business, we inherited a fintech partner program, and several lending businesses. As we reach the one-year anniversary of the acquisition, and in conjunction with the conclusion of a strategic review of our business operations, we have made the decision to discontinue certain businesses that don’t fit our mission.  
Jan 2, 2022
2 min read
Man in blue button up shirt and glasses smiling
Related FAQ's
We offer several ways for you to make your monthly auto loan payment, so you can choose the method that works best for you. A statement will be mailed to you every month that shows the payment amount and due date.
Nov 29, 2023
less than a minute read
LendingClub provides a year-end statement that summarizes your account activity, including how much interest you’ve earned and information regarding Notes tied to loans that have been charged off.
Jun 7, 2023
less than a minute read
Adding creditors to your balance transfer loan is easy.
Jun 7, 2023
3 min read
To qualify for a lending product with LendingClub Bank, you must...
Jun 7, 2023
less than a minute read
You can partially or fully prepay your loan at any time with absolutely no prepayment penalty or fee.
Jun 7, 2023
less than a minute read
Related Glossary
{noun} A type of credit that allows the borrower to make charges and payments against a set borrowing limit, paying interest only on outstanding balances.
Sep 6, 2023
4 min read
{noun} The total annual cost to borrow money, including fees, expressed as a percentage.
Mar 21, 2023
3 min read
{noun} The amount of unpaid interest that has accumulated as of a specific date, either on a loan or an interest-bearing account or investment. 
Mar 21, 2023
4 min read
{noun} An interest rate that remains the same for a set time, usually for the life of the loan.
Feb 4, 2023
3 min read
{noun} A loan used to pay off one or more debt accounts, usually to change interest costs, monthly payment, and/or payment term.
Jan 28, 2023
4 min read

Any reviews presented are individual experiences and results may vary. Reviews are collected and authenticated by Bazaarvoice. Any average rating presented is based on these reviews. All reviews can be accessed at https://www.lendingclub.com/company/reviews.

Unless otherwise specified, all credit and deposit products are provided by LendingClub Bank, N.A., Member FDIC, Equal Housing Lender (“LendingClub Bank”), a wholly-owned subsidiary of LendingClub Corporation, NMLS ID 167439. Credit products are subject to credit approval and may be subject to sufficient investor commitment. Credit union membership may be required. Deposit accounts are subject to approval. Deposit products are FDIC-insured up to $250,000 per depositor, per ownership category.

"LendingClub" and the "LC" symbol are trademarks of LendingClub Bank.

© 2024 LendingClub Bank. All rights reserved.