Charge offs stay on your credit report for 7 years from the date of last activity on the account all the while damaging your credit scores. That is such a long time for one mistake to affect your entire financial being. Just one charge off can prevent you from getting credit including; a decent car loan, credit cards, personal loans or can even stop you from qualifying for a mortgage! If you do qualify your interest rate will most likely be much higher costing you tens of thousands on the loan.
Understand that the reporting of items on your credit reports is completely voluntary. No law demands that all your accounts be reported to the credit bureaus. Creditors report at their will.
If you have the ability to pay the charged account do so. The credit might accept less than what is owed as a payoff "in full" meaning that the account is satisfied and closed. What I advise is to have the creditor either update the account to "paid as agreed" "never late" or remove the account in its entirety. Get it in writing if they agree to do so before you send any money as things tend to be forgotten once the creditor gets what they want (your money).
Some creditors will lie and tell you that once a trade line is reported as "charged off" then it must remain that way. This is simply not the case as creditors use software to update the credit bureaus. They can update their reporting at anytime and at their discretion. The simple fact is creditors remove charge offs from credit reports using this method all the time!
If your charge off is already in a paid status then perhaps the only effective way to remove it is to dispute the accuracy of the trade line with the credit bureaus. This is can get a little complicated. There are definite right ways and wrong ways to dispute. If you mess up you can almost guarantee that the charge off account will stay with you for the entire seven years. That is why I recommend hiring out the help. Credit repair is most certainly something you can do yourself...if you have plenty of time to research the dos and don'ts.