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What Is Re-Aging & Can It Help Me?

by Gerri Detweiler

What Is Re-Aging & Can It Help Me?

What is Re-Aging?

Re-aging, also known as “curing” or “rollback,” involves changing the delinquency status of an account. Payment history is one of the most important factors in calculating your credit scores, and within that factor most scoring models will look at:

  • The number of late payments listed on the credit report
  • How recent those late payments were

That’s where re-aging can come in. It can affect both of those factors in either a positive or negative way. Of course, the best way to find out how this might help (or hurt) your credit is to check your credit scores which you can do for free. Then you can can create an action plan that may include asking creditors to re-age accounts, or disputing those that have been improperly re-aged.

Positive Re-Aging

Positive re-aging is designed to help customers who are making an effort to get back on their feet after financial problems. Once you fall behind on a bill, it can be difficult to catch up. Unless you can come up with a large lump sum to pay off your debt, your account may be reported as late every month, even though you are making payments. (These are called “rolling lates.”) To prevent these types of accounts from being listed as delinquent every month, the bank or card issuer can re-age them so they are reported as current.

In this type of re-aging, an account that was reported as late each month to the credit reporting agencies will now be reported as “Paid on time.” Sometimes the financial institution will go back into the past payment history and bring all of the delinquent payments current. In other cases, the account will simply be listed as “Paid on time” for the current month and going forward.

Tip: If you enroll in a Debt Management Plan (DMP) with a credit counseling agency, many creditors will re-age your accounts after you make three monthly on-time payments. This can be helpful for your credit scores. Ask your counselor whether your creditors re-age accounts.

Negative Re-Aging

Negative re-aging is changing the delinquency status of an account to fool the credit bureaus into thinking it’s more recent than it really is. Negative re-aging is illegal and if it occurs, the collection would remain on your credit reports longer than the seven years currently allowed by the Fair Credit Reporting Act. Some collectors do this intentionally and some do it accidentally. Regardless, you need to make sure that the collection doesn’t stay on your credit files any longer than allowed by law.

How long is that? Collection accounts may be reported for seven and half years from the date you first fell behind with the original creditor. That’s true regardless of whether the account is paid, unpaid or settled in the meantime. If a collection agency re-ages the original date of delinquency it is likely breaking the law, and the consumer should contact the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and/or a consumer law attorney.

  • Gerri Detweiler

    It probably will help you, especially since those late payments are recent. However, it sounds like you have already tried this and they are unwilling to work with you…Have you tried going to someone higher up?

  • Gerri Detweiler

    When you ask for a goodwill adjustment you are essentially asking them to reage the account. It’s really the same thing under a different name. I don’t see why it would hurt to ask again, going to someone higher up. If you look at the Investor Relations section of the issuer’s website you should be able to find the name of an executive and their office. It’s worth a shot!

    • B

      I may well do that. Thank you so much for all of your help. I love the site and the free credit service!

  • Bea

    I have tried and failed to get a goodwill adjustment over a $50 charge. I rarely use that credit card and had stopped checking my statements every month because they were at $0 for so long. This credit card company does not include amount due in their emails letting me know my statement is ready for viewing. The amount ended up being $90 by the time I noticed it when I checked my credit report. I paid this immediately, but the 90 day late payment was already on my credit report and had dropped my score 100 points!! My score was 755 in November and is now 655, due ONLY to this tiny little stupid mistake!! I tried writing a letter asking for a goodwill adjustment, but the reply I received was (to keep it short) very unenthusiastic. I have been making plans and serious efforts to buy a home in May. I do not know how I will be able to get a mortgage now, due only to this $90, 90 day late payment on my report! I considered replying to the reply I received but, in researching my options, came across this article:

    and this:
    (under Re-Aging, Extensions, Deferrals, Renewals, and Rewrites)

    I am so confused now and even more upset. The first article seems to imply that I am underhanded for wanting that information removed from consideration in my credit score. I do not think I am conniving or deceitful for wanting this off my report. I don’t believe a $90 late bill in an otherwise positive account, for which I received no phone calls, letters, or other means of communications other than the customary “your statement is ready” email, should not in fairness have a one hundred point negative effect on an otherwise healthy credit score. I do not think my rating dropping a hundred points over this is a true reflection of credit history, ability or willingness to repay, or trustworthiness as a borrower. How does this make me a dishonest person?

    Under the FDIC statement, it seems I am eligible for re-aging, except that I am not in a financial hardship due to loss of job or death of a loved one, etc. I am an otherwise financially responsible, reliable, honest customer only I’ve made a very small mistake!

    I apologize for the long comment. I hope you, or any credit expert reading this, will offer me some advice as to how to handle this situation so that I stand some chance of raising my credit score before I apply for a home loan mortgage in May.

    • Gerri Detweiler

      I completely understand – it can happen to anyone. And it’s so frustrating. I don’t know who the issuer is but perhaps you can try going higher up. Sometimes you can look up the name of an executive in the annual report and try reaching out to them. Another option might be to try filing a complaint with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

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  • Meet Our Expert

    gerri_detweiler GravatarGerri Detweiler is's Director of Consumer Education. She focuses on helping people understand their credit and debt, and writes about those issues, as well as financial legislation, budgeting, debt recovery and savings strategies. She is also the co-author of Debt Collection Answers: How to Use Debt Collection Laws to Protect Your Rights, and Reduce Stress: Real-Life Solutions for Solving Your Credit Crisis as well as host of
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