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What Is Re-Aging & Can It Help Me?

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What Is Re-Aging & Can It Help Me?

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Re-aging, also known as “curing” or “rollbacking,” an account involves changing its delinquency status. Re-aging delinquent accounts can be a good thing or it can be an illegal practice. Here we’ll explain re-aging debt and what affect it can have on your credit.  

What Is a Delinquent Account?

For starters, let’s explain what we mean by delinquency status. An account is generally considered delinquent if it is has gone unpaid or it is not being paid as agreed. Accounts in good standing, conversely, are those that have either been paid off or are currently being paid as specified in the original loan contract. Delinquent accounts are generally reported to the major credit bureaus and a creditor can also sue to recoup what is owed. However, the time frame in which both of these actions might happen varies for lender to lender — and can be affected by state laws. There are statute of limitations in each state, for instance, regarding debt collection time limits.  

Can the Re-Aging of Old Debts Help Me?

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 of old debts can come in. Changing an account’s delinquency status can affect both of those factors in either a positive or negative way. Of course, the best way to find out how re-aging might help (or hurt) your credit is to check your credit scores — you can see two of your credit scores for free on Then you 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 some payments. When this happens, it’s 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 the delinquent payments current. In other cases, the account will simply be listed as “paid on time” for the current month and going forward, as long as payments continue to be made on time.

Tip: If you enroll in a Debt Management Plan (DMP) with a credit counseling agency, many creditors will re-age your delinquent accounts after you make three monthly on-time payments. This is a time when re-aging delinquent accounts can be helpful for your credit scores. If you go this route, it’s a good idea to ask your counselor whether your creditors re-age accounts.

Negative Re-Aging

Negative re-aging debt on a credit report 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, you are in violation of 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.

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    • 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.

      • Abby C.


        I had a $9.99 charge that I was unaware of because a card I never use was connected to my husband’s iTunes account. Three months later, the bill was $180!!! I never received a statement– emailed or otherwise. I paid that and closed the account.

        I check my credit report and my score has dropped over 100 points AND there is another $11 fee that the credit card company charged me and didn’t bill me for, even though I called a month after I closed the card to make sure it was paid off.

        My credit before this was 790… I am also trying to buy a house and it makes me furious that a $10 charge, which I obviously could have paid had I known about it, did this to my credit. This small oversight is increasing my mortgage payments by over $60/month, and it is in no way a reflection of my ability or willingness to repay.

        Luckily for me, my credit card company re-aged my account. I really hopes this helps raise my credit score a bit, but I have no idea by how much and how quickly it will be reflected. Any insight on this would be helpful.


    • Rick

      So I have an old account that a collection bought the account was put into collection originally in 2010 this other company bought it and marked it open as of last summer. Is this one of those instances that fall under the illegal categories, or am I just left to clean it up and suck it up?

      • Gerri Detweiler

        You don’t have to just put up with erroneous information on your credit reports. But it’s not clear to me whether it’s wrong or not. On your credit reports, you want to look for something that indicates how long it will be reported on your credit reports. That date should be seven years +180 days from the date you first fell behind with the original creditor. The date it was placed with the collection agency is not relevant in terms of the reporting period. So look at your credit report carefully and if it’s not evident when it will be removed, or if you think that date is wrong, dispute it with the credit reporting agencies.
        (Also I will email you if you want me to take a look at the tradeline for you.)

        This article may help: Does Your Old Debt Have an Expiration Date?

      • Gerri Detweiler

        You certainly shouldn’t have to put up with erroneous information on your credit reports. But how long that collection account can be reported depends on the original date of delinquency. That’s the date you first fell behind with the original creditor. The date it was placed for collection is not relevant for the reporting period. Do you see anything that indicates that date, and does it look accurate? (FYI – I am emailing you directly in case you need help understanding it.)

        This article may help: Does Your Old Debt Have an Expiration Date?

    • Ariah

      I disputed my p/o (120 day past due)-paid by insurance company -coded Sallie Mae loan, at that time the last reported date was 2010, I noticed that my credit score dropped shortly after sending in the dispute by 50 points. After looking into I the situation I noticed that this all happened (the decrease) when Sallie Mae changed the reported date to 2015 (after bringing the dispute to their awareness). Is this legal?

      • Gerri Detweiler

        Maybe not. It’s a little hard for me to tell specifically based on what you are saying but I think it’s worth filing a complaint with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Please let us know what they say.

    • Asim

      Hello, I was in an Unemployment Assistance program with my mortgage company. I made these payments on time and never 30 days late. However, the mortgage company reported these payments as late and over 120 days, I have since had my mortgage modified and have paid on time. If I request to have my mortgage re-aged, will that clear out the derogatory history of the loan?

      • Gerri Detweiler

        It could. But I’m not sure how far you will get with the mortgage company. Give it a try and see what happens. If you’re not successful you may need to file a complaint with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

        • Asim

          I will give it a try. thanks.

    • Abby C.

      My credit card company recently re-aged some delinquent payments due to their error that caused by otherwise sparkling credit score to drop over 100 points. How much and how soon will this adjustment be reflected in my credit score?

    • Lauren

      I ordered my annual credit report a few days ago and found that Comcast has re-aged a debt from several years ago, over 4 which is the SOL here in PA. It seems that they did it right around the time I opened a new account with them for internet service. Is this legal? There was never any mention of this previous debt and I know for a fact the debt was time barred. Who do I contact? The debt collection company? FTC? I do have credit karma, it isn’t showing up there but it did show up on my Experian report.

      • Gerri Detweiler

        I am not sure I fully understand your scenario, Lauren, but it sounds like perhaps there is some confusion. The time period that a debt can appear on your credit reports and the statute of limitations are two different time frames. These two articles may help. If you read them and still have questions let us know. The Most Important Dates on Your Credit Report and Does Your Old Debt Have an Expiration Date?

    • RCLN

      I rec’d a solicitation from Discover card saying I could write a check for up to my full available credit limit. To simplify matters, I paid of my balance of $14 prior to its due date and waited for my balance to show $0 before I deposited the Discover check. I even called, prior to depositing, to confirm that I could now write the check for $15.5k and was told that, because there was no transaction fee, I could. Now they’re reporting to Experian that I went over my credit limit because they added interest to my balance. That should have been disclosed (as a *disclaimer) in the written offer or in the phone call. In a subsequent phone call they said they can’t correct that information but you seem to be saying they can. Who should I ask to speak to at Discover to “re-age” I’m shuttled between what sounds like teenagers who only seem capable of offering their condolences.

      • Credit Experts

        Please check your email for a response.

    • Morna


      Thanks for all of the info and help. I have a question about a debt collector. Two of my accounts are now under Midland Funding. The accounts were last paid on in January 2009. I check my credit frequently and have alerts set. Every month I get an alert telling me I have a new delinquent account and every month it is Midland reporting those same accounts as a charge off. Is that legal? I feel like I’m trying to pick things back up and they are knocking them down again.

      Thanks in advance

      • Gerri Detweiler

        We have a story coming on that soon but the jist seems to be that it may not be illegal for it to be reported this way…but of course facts and circumstances may dictate whether it’s properly reporting…

        Still, collection accounts may be reported for seven years plus 180 days from the original date of delinquency. It sounds like that date may be fast approaching.

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