A+ Financial Services


Settlement vs. Charge Off

A charge off is a credit account that you did not pay and then the creditor wrote the account off as a loss. A settlement is an account that went past due, maybe even charged off, and then you negotiate a pay off amount that is less than the full balance due. Once you pay that negotiated amount in full then the account reports as a settlement. As consumers we depend on credit bureaus to report information accurately. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. In fact, it is the minority. Seventy-nine percent of all credit reports contain inaccuracies - meaning that we all must be diligent in monitoring our credit reports and take immediate action when mistakes are discovered. In our expectations of being treated fairly, we assume that if one negative item on our credit report is considered equal to another item; the credit bureaus have to be fair and accurate when reporting the item. Credit bureaus sometimes 'generalize' and will argue that 'Settlements' and 'Charge Off' are the same, when in fact, they are not. It is up to us to insist they investigate these items and change the incorrect information, or if they cannot verify the information within 30 days, then they need to delete the item. This is one of your rights under the Fair Credit Reporting Act. We remain steadfast in pursuing these items.


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