charge off?  trying to improve credit.

charge off? trying to improve credit.

hey there. my name is laura, and i'm transitioning from lurker to poster. i'm working on improving my credit, which is pretty crappy. right now i'm in more of a planning stage. i'm less than two grand into current debt, but my concern is my past debt. i have a few items on my credit report which appear as "charged off". i'm not entirely sure what that means, nor am i entirely sure how to eliminate those negatives. a friend of mine told me that it means they are no longer going after me for collection and it will just appear for a certain number of years and then go away. is this true? i would much rather pay the debts and have them disappear that way...but if it's charged off does that mean i can no longer pay it? i'm coming here for advice before calling the companies directly because i'm afraid that calling will start the flood of calls looking for money when i don't have any to pay at this time. thanks for any information!
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