Re-aging – Wouldn’t It Be Nice?

Wouldn’t it be nice if we could just make a phone call and say:

“I promise to be good, to exercise, to eat right and take all my vitamins if you will just turn back the clock…”

then have all the wrinkles and extra pounds just vanish? Maybe we can’t do that with our bodies but it is sometimes possible to do that with your credit.

Re-aging which can also be called “curing” or “rollback” basically means removing some or all of the delinquencies on an account. It’s important to remember that this cannot be done with accounts that have already been charged off by the creditor. However, if you’ve suffered a temporary setback and have only one or two late payments on an account, re-aging is something the creditor might just agree to do. This is true for any account…not just credit cards.

Re-aging is not something that can be done over and over. It’s usually only a one time agreement with the creditor and works best if the account is currently past due. The government guidelines state that in order for an account to be re-aged the borrower must show the ability and willingness to repay the debt. The account must also be at least 9 months old and an account cannot be re-aged more than once in a 12-month period.

It works by calling or writing a creditor on an account that is past due by one or two payments and promising that you will catch the account up right then and there. If you make your payments on time for the next three months then they may agree to “re-age” the account and remove those lates. If you go delinquent again, the creditor will most likely not agree to do this for you in the future. But, if you keep your payments current and on time going forward, those lates will no longer be there to haunt you. You should be prepared to give them a good reason why the lates happened in the first place.

If you are already current on the account but have one late payment a few months ago, another option is to ask for a “one-time courtesy removal”. There are a lot of credit cards that say in the fine print on your statement that they will, during the course of a year, give you a one-time courtesy removal of a late payment.

There are a couple of tricks to increase your chance of accomplishing a courtesy removal. Always ask for a supervisor if you are contacting by phone. Also it’s always better to call at the end of the week rather than the beginning of the week. Silly as that may sound, everyone is in a better mood at the end of the week.

Both of these options are perfectly legal for a creditor to agree to. However, it is their prerogative and they may say no. It is always worth a phone call though.

Unfortunately, we may not be able to “re-age” ourselves. “Re-aging” some of your past mistakes with a creditor, however, is always a possibility.