Credit Card Charge-Off What Does It Mean And What Should You Do About It?
Have you been told by a creditor that your debt is about to “charge-off”? Did the bill collector make it sound like you will be ruined financially if you allow this catastrophe to happen? If you’re behind on your bills, unable to keep up with payments on your credit cards and other debts, sooner or later you will hear a creditor representative threaten you with the dreaded “charge-off.” So what is a charge-off anyway? Should you be worried? What are the consequences of this mysterious event?
I’ll start by explaining what a charge-off is NOT. Because the term includes the word “charge,” many people mistakenly think it has to do with cancellation of the account by the creditor. In other words, you can’t “charge” anything on your credit card anymore. But it’s not the same thing at all, and most banks will revoke charging privileges around 2-3 months before the deadline we’re talking about here.
What banks and bill collectors call a “charge-off” is the point at which the creditor writes off the...