Dealing with Delinquent Accounts

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Dealing with Delinquent Accounts

Is there anything more annoying than a roommate who leaves their dirty dishes in the sink? You've asked them to wash their dishes before, and they said they would do it, yet they don't. Then they forget again and a few more dishes are added to the sink. By this point, you're frustrated, but not as angry as when they then do it a third consecutive time. Ultimately, you move out and tell all of your friends what a horrible roommate they were, and your old roommate's reputation is ruined.

Dirty dishes might seem irrelevant to your credit report, but what if the dirty dishes symbolized late credit card payments? Imagine that you're the annoying roommate to your creditors, who are becoming increasingly frustrated with your delinquency. They might tolerate one late payment and give you a second chance. However, if you keep making mistakes, you can ruin your relationship with them, in addition to maiming your credit score.

What is a delinquent credit card account?

In the credit card industry, any account past due is a delinquent account. However, many creditors will not report an account as delinquent to credit bureaus until at least 30 days after the missed due date, and if you've previously had a clean payment history, your creditor might not report the delinquent account until after two consecutive missed payments.

Additionally, there are multiple levels of delinquency that may be reported on your credit report. A debt can be reported as 30, 60, 90 and then 120 days late. Multiple delinquencies or a longer period of delinquency can affect your credit score much more negatively. For example, your credit score could drop as much as 125 points after numerous missed payments are posted to your credit report.

Also, even after you have fully paid off these debts, the missed payment information on your credit report may still remain for up to seven years, signaling potential irresponsibility to future creditors. So it's usually in your best interest to fulfill at least the minimum payment due each month, and, if you do end up with delinquent accounts, to eventually pay those off, especially if they've gone into collections.

How do I remove a delinquent account from my report?

As previously stated, delinquent accounts are typically removed seven years after the date of the original delinquency. Even if the debt is sold to a collection agency, the original date of delinquency is normally when you defaulted on the original creditor. Unfortunately, these accounts don't always disappear on schedule, so you may have to put in a little extra work to take them off.

If you realize that a reported delinquency wasn't removed when it should've been, you should retrieve a copy of your credit reports from the three major credit bureaus. (You can see your TransUnion and Equifax reports for free on Credit Karma.) The credit reports might not be identical, so it's a good idea to know if the delinquency hasn't fallen off one or all of them. If you believe a credit bureau has included a delinquency that is inaccurate or outdated, you can file a dispute with the credit bureau.

Don't Let the Dishes Sit

The process might seem tedious, but your credit report will thank you when it's been cleaned up. If your credit report looks like a dirty sink right now, grab that sponge and start cleaning.

About the Author: is a Member Support Specialist at Credit Karma. She spends her free time reading, devouring desserts and talking to her slightly deaf cat, Pusho. When she's not doing those things, she is dreaming about doing them.

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All Comments

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1 Contribution
36 People Helped

Helpful to 36 out of 44 people

Can anyone tell me how can an auto loan that has been reported closed and charged off for over 6 years, suspiciously be reported "open" at the very month that it is suppose to be removed off my credit report at the 7 year mark?? Please HELP

Reply by
feibeinei

1 Contribution
4 People Helped
Helpful to 4 out of 7 people

Would love to know the answer to this as well. Can someone pelase answer MzNurse11's question?

Reply by
frostone209

3 Contributions
39 People Helped
Helpful to 30 out of 31 people

It happens quite often creditors or collection agency will try and sneak old debts into your credit report that are past the time for reporting the negative item.  You need to write to the 3 credit bureaus and request them to remove the item since it is over 7 years and that it is violating the fcra for that reason. Also they must investigate the issue within 30 days. 

Reply by
LC1227

7 Contributions
14 People Helped
Helpful to 7 out of 7 people

I'm pretty sure that a collection agency can still try to collect if it's not yet seven years and it shows that it's open because it's open with those collectors. I had the same thing happen to me on a student loan I co-signed for my son in 2002. Just before the seven years was up, a law firm started contacting my son. I didn't even remember co-signing, but he is not in a good financial place right now and he ignored the lawyers. In 2014 they apparently noticed that he had a co-signer and started threatening a lawsuit. They went to court to try to get a default judgement against me right after I received their first nasty letter. I showed up in court and filed a written response. I think that surprised them. We are now discussing it, but I suddenly have a default of $23,000 on my credit report. The original loan was $10,000. I may have them on a couple of technicalities, but I think it stinks that I was contacted over 12 years after first signing the loan. So anyway, that's why it's 7 years and not 6 and a half I guess.

1 Contribution
50 People Helped

Helpful to 50 out of 63 people

What does it mean when u have a $0 blance and but it is delinquent?

Can i get it off my credit report so my crdit go up?

Reply by
jaja2000

1 Contribution
12 People Helped
Helpful to 12 out of 13 people

Can anyone answer smurfjenn's question I have the same problem.  Account was closed on 12/3/2014 and they reported it 30 days late.  Loan was paid off 6 months early!

Credit report is showing $0 balance and 30 day late, amount overdue is also $0

Anyone have any idea why?

Reply by
rickj123

1 Contribution
16 People Helped
Helpful to 16 out of 20 people

if you pay off an account that was past due or in arrears the creditor may report you past due with a zero bal. you can contact the creditor and have them rereport to the bureaus or send you a corrected letter of credit.

Reply by
frostone209

3 Contributions
39 People Helped
Helpful to 6 out of 7 people

1. you owe a $0 balance and a payment  was deliquent or past due at some point or  2. the account was charged off as bad debt $0 balance now,  was turned over to a collection agency, and is delinquent or passed due the original debt owed.

1 Contribution
11 People Helped

Helpful to 11 out of 13 people

Once I pay my debt off can I request to get everything off of my credit, or do I have to wait 7 years? 

Reply by
wiseup

1 Contribution
5 People Helped
Helpful to 5 out of 6 people

I would send the creditor a certified letter asking them to remove the item from my credit report as a mandatory condition of my payment(s).  I would enclose a check with the amount I agreed to pay and notify them in the letter that "CASHING THE CHECK MEANS YOU AGREE TO THE TERMS AND CONDITIONS." If it is a one-time payment, I would write paid in full on the memo line. If it is cashed, they can no longer contact me for ANYTHING! If they fail to report the CORRECT information timely. I would file a dispute with the credit bureau and send them a copy of my certified letter and check. Hope this helps someone.

2 Contributions
6 People Helped

Helpful to 4 out of 4 people

I co-signed for a co-worker for a credit card. I have not been at that job for almost 2 yrs. I have checked regularly and he was making his payments. In January the payments stopped. Thru text messaging he promised he would get back on track.  He made one payment since January not even enough to cover the minimum.  Now after 7 missed payments the account has gone to collections. Is there any legal action I can take?

Reply by
jaycee2463

2 Contributions
6 People Helped
Helpful to 2 out of 2 people

Can anyone answer?

Top Contributor

Reply by
soveu40

27 Contributions
53 People Helped
Helpful to 3 out of 4 people

Hi Jaycee,

                   There are no legal actions you can take unless you pay for the account yourself and take your former co-worker to small claims court or court depending on the charges. Your best bet would be to speak with a consumer attorney since I'm just providing my opinion and not legal advise. Also as a co signer they collection agency may come after you as well. I would contact teh original creditor if you intend to make payments and come to some sort of written agreement to pay the debt if you intend to. Good luck on whatever you decide.

Reply by
LC1227

7 Contributions
14 People Helped
Helpful to 1 out of 2 people

You know, you signed the paperwork so that he could have a credit card. The credit card company has every reason to believe that you will pay if he doesn't pay. That's what co-signing means. He isn't a very nice guy, but sometimes people get stuck and they're embarrassed. Instead of facing their creditors, of which you are one, they hide their head in the sand. He has probably done that for a long time. That's why he needed a co-signer in the first place. You should ask yourself if a bank won't lend someone money, why should you? You took a risk and he did what he always does. That's how people are - they do what they've always done. Few ever change.

1 Contribution
2 People Helped

Helpful to 2 out of 2 people

How do ou get in touch with the people that you are in collection with? And if you pay them will that improve your credit score? 

5 Contributions
2 People Helped

Helpful to 1 out of 1 people

Is there a way to get credit inquiries off the reports before they are said to expire?  

5 Contributions
2 People Helped

Helpful to 1 out of 1 people

I have had two late payments over a year ago since always paid on time and as i say it's well over a year old being late. How do i get them to take that off the credit reports?  I need to build my score and it's bringing me down badly.  Is there a way to have the credit card companies to remove old late payments?

1 Contribution
1 Person Helped

Helpful to 1 out of 1 people

If I have an account that is almost at it's 7 year mark and it is sold to a collection agency, how do I find out the date of the original charge to keep an eye on when it should be off? Would the collection agency have those dates or would I have to research it more?

Reply by
onefine69

9 Contributions
17 People Helped

if your able to view your credit report look at the accont and check to see when the last payment was made, the add 7 years to that date that should tell you when the account would mark the 7 years its been reported. after an account has been charged off 6 months with out makeing a payment it then gets charged off. the clock starts ticking the date of the last payment. it shold remain on your report no longer than 7 1/2 years total

1 Contribution
6 People Helped

Helpful to 6 out of 10 people

I have filled a Chapter 13 because I could pay my bills but not  my mortgage and I didn't want to be homeless.  A trustee makes my car payment, so it seems I have a deliquency because the trustee makes late payment, is that true.

1 Contribution
3 People Helped

Helpful to 3 out of 5 people

How can I take credit that does. Not belong to me of my repot ??thank you for your help ..

Reply by
frostone209

3 Contributions
39 People Helped
Helpful to 3 out of 4 people

Write to the 3 credit burueas: experian, transunion, equifax, google search for there mailing address.  You should first request a credit report from each one, you are entitled to one free report annually also anytime you were denied credit somewhere and there are several other reasons as well. You need to access your reports to  see which  accounts are not belonging to you, each bureau report contains different information that may not match the others. After determing which accounts are not yours from each bureau request that those accounts be removed immediatley. Dispute it online or either by mail is the preferred method and if you have supporting documents send copies to support your case.

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