What Does Write Off Mean on a Credit Report?

Clean Credit Report What Does Write Off Mean on a Credit Report?

What Does a Write-Off Mean for Your Credit Report?

If you have long-term unpaid debt, your credit card company may decide to cut their losses and sell your debt to a collections agency.  for your credit report? Written off debt allows the company to say the debt is uncollectible, and they can claim it as a loss for tax purposes. However, that doesn't mean you're no longer responsible for the debt.

The credit card company may still try to collect the debt from you, or they could sell it to a collections agency. Either way, that write-off is on your credit report, and it doesn't look good.

To fix your credit score, you may need to dispute your credit report with a credit dispute letter. If the debt is not yours, you may need to write a debt validation letter. If that isn't possible, you might have to negotiate a payment plan to get the write-off taken off your report.

You have options for removing late payments, collections, or inquiries from your credit report, but you have to know what to say in those letters. It takes time to ensure you've done your research and are sending the letters to the right places. DoNotPay can help.

What Does a Write-Off Look Like on My Credit Report?

There's a lot of information on your credit report, including:

  • Personal Information: Your full name, birthday, and social security number
  • Your Accounts: Mortgages, credit cards, and other loans
  • Credit Inquiries: Any lender or business that has requested your credit score
  • Public Records: Bankruptcy and any debt that has been sent to collections

In the accounts section, you'll see the companies you've borrowed from, dates, the amount of the loan, and your repayment history. That's where you'll see a note about a "charge-off" or "write-off" on the associated account.

What's the Difference Between Charge-Off and Write-Off?

If you check the internet, you'll see conflicting information about these terms. Some sources say they're different:  part or all of the debt has been forgiven and you're no longer responsible for it, while a charge-off means the debt has been sold, and it's a serious red flag on your report.

However, Experian, one of the three credit bureaus, says: "Charged off and written off mean the same thing. A charged off or written off debt is a debt that has become seriously delinquent, and the lender has given up on being paid."

How to Dispute Your Credit Report to Remove a Write-Off By Yourself

If a write-off is hurting your credit score and preventing you from obtaining a necessary loan, you may need to try to get it removed from your report. There are several ways to do this, depending upon the circumstances surrounding the write-off.

Goodwill LetterIf you've already paid the debt, but it's still showing up on your report, you can write a letter asking it to be removed. You'll have to explain the circumstances of the write-off, what you're doing to ensure it won't happen again, and why you need to improve your credit score to secure a loan (or a house or a car, for example).
Credit DisputeIf the write-off is a mistake on the report, you'll need to dispute that error with the creditor and/or the credit bureau.
Debt Validation LetterIt is your right, protected by the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, to request that the company prove the debt belongs to you. This must be done within 30 days of receiving your first contact from the collection agency.
Negotiation LetterIn some cases, you may be able to pay to have an item removed from your credit report. This requires some negotiation.

Each of these requests must include different information, and you may be bound by certain timelines, as in the case of a debt validation letter. If you're trying to improve your credit score so you can obtain a necessary loan, there's no time to waste. Instead of stressing about where to send the letters, what to include in the letters, and when to follow up, let DoNotPay do it all for you.

Use DoNotPay to Deal With Write-Offs and Clean Up Your Credit Report

DoNotPay is designed to save you time and hassle by taking a multi-faceted approach to this problem. We'll present your options and help you determine the best course of action. Then we'll prepare your letters for you and send them to the right people. This is how DoNotPay works to improve your credit score in three easy steps:

  1. Search Clean Credit Report on DoNotPay.


  2. Prepare a recent copy of your credit report that you can use as reference.


  3. Let us guide you through the 4 potential options:
  • If you've already paid off your debt, we'll help you file a Goodwill Removal Request to get it removed.


  • If you notice any errors in your report (we have a list of common errors you can use!), we'll help you file a credit dispute with the creditor or major credit bureaus.


  • If there are no errors, we'll check if you're still eligible to file a debt validation request. If they can't validate your debt, they're required to remove it from your report and they can't collect it!


  • Lastly, if none of the above options work, we'll help you file a pay-to-delete negotiation letter. You can customize the amount you are willing to pay in exchange for getting the item removed.


We make it easy to manage your credit score and stay on top of your finances with services like Credit Limit Increase, Get My Credit Report, and more. It's fast, easy, and it works for a range of other complicated situations, as well.

What Else Can DoNotPay Do?

Just because certain legal and financial situations are common, doesn't mean they're easy to navigate. Whether you need to understand , sue someone in small claims court, or connect with an inmate in any correctional facility, DoNotPay outlines the steps and streamlines the process to ensure you get it done right. We can help with all of this:

You don't have to do any of this on your own. Get started with DoNotPay!

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