In Jan 2008 I went to my Bank Of America and opened a secured credit card to try and rebuild my credit. I gave the bank $1000 for a secured credit card. That's when the housing bubble burst and I lost my job and had a mountain of bills and had used $350 of that $1000 secured credit card that I could not continue to pay on.
Fast forward to now and thinking that $350 debt would have faded from credit report only to see it appear as a charge-off just a few months ago. So it's been over 10 years and I guess that since it was bounced from collection agencies they finally just charged it off not. Not only did I lose that $1000, but am the hook with a recent charge off of $350. Boy did that wrong.
Is there anything I can do to help my credit score?
I'd say pull your free yearly credit report and see DOFD, if it was removed before, due to age, then it should still be aged out. I'd dispute, after confirming the it on your CR
Welcome to the board
A creditor is bound by law to report a CO 6 months after the 30 day late with no further payments being made. If the default happened prior to 2012 and was never again brought current then its past time for it to be able to report on your CR. Since this was a secured account with 1K and you only ran up 350 you should have received a check from them when they returned the balance of your deposit from their closing of the account. You need to determine if this ever went to a CO condition and when.
When a creditor reports a charge-off to a CRA, they are requried to additionally report the date of first delinquency to the CRA no later than 90 days after having reported the charge-off. See FCRA 623(a)(5).
The CRA then uses that reported DOFD to determine the exclusion date of any reported charge-off or collection, with exclusion then required no later than 7 years plus 180 days from the reported DOFD. See FCRA 605(c).
You must first determine what DOFD was reported by the creditor.
If the reported DOFD is less than the 7 year plus 180 day exclusion period and you assert that it was earlier, your recourse is to file a dispute of the accuracy of the reported DOFD. The inaccuracy is thus a reporing inaccuracy of the creditor.
However, if the reported DOFD is more than 7 years plus 180 days ago, the CRA is at fault for their violation of the required exclusion provision of FCRA 605(c). Recourse would thus be to contact the CRA and require removal under FCRA 605(C).
As an aside, you dont actually have reporting of "a recent charge-off."
A creditor does not report, and the CRAs have no code for storing, the actual date of a charge-off. The creditor reports, at some point in time, only that they have previosly taken that accounting measure, and does not report when. Thus, they are only reporting that they took a CO, which then triggers a requirement under section 623(a)(5) to additionally provide the DOFD to the CRA.
The "recency" of the derog for scoring purposes is then the delinquency period, which is the time from DOFD until the reporting date.
The issue of the propriety of taking of a charge-off would appear to be based on the account agreement terms as to how they must treat a secured card when the current balance is less than the amount of the initial deposit.
Is reconciliation delayed until the current balance is first paid, and thus the account is no longer delinquent? Check your account agreement terms........