Charge offs stay on a credit report for 7 years, right? When does that 7 year mark start? Is it when the account first charges off or when the account has been paid off. Background: I had several credit cards and due to circumstances some were charged off. I have started with a credit counseling company and am making monthly payments to each credit now. I did have one account that was charged off and went to an collection agency. I paid that off last year. I am working to get my credit back on track. I did take out a personal loan (I had a cosigner) and I am making ontime monthly payments. I also have a couple credits cards now (VERY low limits). They are being used to help raise my credit score (they report monthly). I am trying not to go crazy with them now. I am still behind on payments for some things, but am working to get everything caught back up.