Should You Do a Pay for Delete?

Bills.com Team
Pro

By

Highlights


  • Monitor your credit report regularly.
  • Use the Credit Reporting Agencies' on-line forms to dispute inaccurate items. Accurate information drops off between 7-10 years.
  • Be careful of pay for delete offers. They could be collection scams.
4.5
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(26 Votes)

Should you Pay to Clean Up Your Credit Report

Negotiating with a collection agency to pay off a debt, in exchange for removing the item from your credit report, is referred to as a pay for delete. Should you pay to get rid of accurate items from your credit report? According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) a government regulator in charge of guarding your consumer rights:

“No one can legally remove accurate and timely negative information from a credit report. The law allows you to ask for an investigation of information in your file that you dispute as inaccurate or incomplete. There is no charge for this."

Anyone who checks their credit report knows that the report contains an abundance of information. Account history, such as a record of your: mortgages, credit cards, student loans, auto loans, and other retail credit make up a large part of your credit report. Your report also contains information about your employment history, where you lived, and basic personal information, such as your name, current address, and Social Security number.

Mistakes happen. To help you spend your time and money in the best manner, so you clean up your report cheaply and efficiently, you need to learn about:

  1. Mistakes and Errors on Your Credit Report
  2. Deleting Accurate, Negative Items
  3. Deal With Debt Problems

Mistakes and Errors on Your Credit Report

Your credit report is a snapshot of your past credit history, both positive and negative. Negative information includes late payments, charge-offs, third-party collection accounts, public judgments, bankruptcy, foreclosures, and other actions that reflect poorly on your past behavior.

Make sure that you monitor your credit report. You are entitled to a free credit report from each of the major three Credit Reporting Agencies (CRAs) once every 12 months. You can get your report, which does not include your credit score, from AnnualCreditReport.com. You may want to stagger your free reports, getting one every four months from one of the bureaus, so you can follow what’s listed more frequently. Keep in mind that the information can vary from report to report, so be sure you monitor all of them.

Pay attention to errors pertaining to social security number, address, and billing entries. Here are four typical reasons MyFICO.com gives for credit mistakes, as follows:

  • “The person applied for credit under different names (Robert Jones, Bob Jones, etc.).
  • “Someone made a clerical error in reading or entering name or address information from a hand-written application.
  • “The person gave an inaccurate Social Security number, or the number was misread by the lender.
  • “Loan or credit card payments were inadvertently applied to the wrong account.”

If you find errors or inaccurate information, then make sure that you file a credit dispute with the CRA. Identity theft is another issue that causes problems on a credit reports. Check your report regularly for accounts that you never opened and for any suspicious activity on active accounts. If you suspect that you’re the victim of identity theft, contact your creditors and the credit bureaus immediately.

Quick Tip

Avoid paying to delete inaccurate information by reading this Bills.com credit repair article.

Deleting Accurate Negative Information From Your Credit Report

In addition to inaccurate, negative information, your credit report may also contain accurate, negative information.

Wouldn’t it be nice if you could just erase past mistakes, push the delete button, and, presto, your record is clean. The good news is that your negative history is not permanent. In general, according to the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), negative items remain on your credit report for between 7 and 10 years. For more information about the FCRA law and the period negative items remain, read the Bills.com article about the FCRA.

Some collection agencies accept a negotiated settlement. The settling of the debt will cause a change of the manner the debt is recorded, from a collection/charge-off to a $0 balance, along with a notation that the debt was “paid in full,” or “settled for less than the amount owed,” or something similar. Paying off a collection item with a collection agency will not cause the debt to be re-aged. The 7-year clock does not start running anew, when you make a payment. Instead, the account will fall off based on the original 7-year period. Although you may be able to make your payment contingent on a deletion of the negative account, or a pay for delete, this strategy is in violation of the FCRA, which does not allow for elimination of accurate information.

Don’t confuse the the statute of limitations on debt with how long the debt can appear on your credit report. They are separate issues entirely.

Quick Tip

Before you take out a mortgage, you will need to pay off debt that is in collection status. Make sure you review your credit report before taking out a loan. If you see an account that does not belong to you, then dispute the item. Some scrupulous creditors attempt to put bogus items and then accept a pay for delete. Report any unfair actions taken by creditors to the FTC.

Pay For Delete? Or, Pay Your Debt?

Whether you are dealing with inaccurate items or negative, accurate accounts, think twice before you pay money to delete items from your credit report. Make sure that your debt is real and validated. Check to see if the statute of limitation (SOL) expired, so you don’t pay a debt that you are not legally obligated to pay.

Quick Tip

The steps described here should correct false information appearing in a credit report. However, if the consumer credit reporting agency does not delete or correct the false information, see the Bills.com method of verification article describing the next steps you can take to fix your credit report.

Don’t fall prey to fraud and pay debts that you don’t owe, just to remove an item from your credit report.

The good news is you can improve your credit score and credit record. Negative items become older and have less impact on your score as time passes. After 7 years (for most items), bad accounts drop off your report, so you can build up a positive, clean report.

If you are dealing with delinquent debts, charge-offs, and collection items, then you need to take appropriate steps to improve your situation. Use a two-pronged approach: attack your debt first, bringing all your debts down to a $0 balance, then work on building and maintaining good credit habits. If you need help to get out of debt, investigate the different debt relief options, including credit counseling and debt settlement.

Instead of paying to delete items, create and maintain a household budget, keep your debts under control, and practice good credit habits. It may take some time to build your credit score, but even the worst credit can usually be brought into very good to excellent range within two years.

Quick Tip

If you have debt problems, then use the Bills.com Debt Coach to get a personalized debt relief solution that fits your financial situation.
4.5
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(26 Votes)

101 Comments

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  • 35x35
    Mar, 2013
    Justin
    Do you have any advice for where to send these letters? I have two accounts I would like to attempt a Pay for Delete for but I don't want to waste the expensive postage (Certified letter, return receipt, etc.) by sending it to the wrong department. I have the last address for where to send payments but I fear that isn't the best place to send it. Should I address it to the standard corporate headquarters address of these big banks? Thanks so much and great write up!
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Mar, 2013
    Robert
    I have an account that just hit collections. I pulled my credit report and the debt is still showing with the OC. Who would you recommend I deal with to get debt resolved? Debt is valid, I ran into some tough times and now have the ability to pay off the debt. What would be your recommendation in handling this issue?
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Mar, 2013
      Bill
      The reports you see at the big-three consumer credit reporting agencies — Equifax, Experian, TransUnion — will show a lag of 30 to 90 days for changes in collection account ownership. Contact the original creditor and ask if it still has rights to collect the debt. If so, then negotiate a settlement with the original creditor. If the original creditor tells you your account is no longer in its records, then validate the debt with the collection agent. If it can validate the debt, then negotiate with the collection agent.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Mar, 2013
    Bill
    Thank you for an extremely informative site! I have just recently started downloading the 1st of my Free credit reports (staggered, of course!) and found 2 odd, old debts that are really hurting my score! One is from a years ago physical therapy office that had over-booked my prescription by a day or two then billed me for the overage that was not paid by my healthcare provider! What recourse would I have to challenge this? The other is also old, a $33.00 dollar debt that was from some Doctors office that I have never attended! That one is clearly a mistake and has really been knocking my score down, all the while I had NO clue they were even there!
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Mar, 2013
      Bill
      Regarding the $33 erroneous collection account, file disputes with each consumer credit reporting agency that is publishing the error.

      Regarding the unpaid physical therapy, let us assume you attended the physical therapy sessions. If so, then this really comes down to what the PT office promised when you started attending PT. Did they say something like, "We will work within your insurance plan to make sure you have minimal out-of-pocket costs?" Or was there no promises made by the PT billing office before you started PT? Regardless, you need to negotiate a settlement with the PT billing people to see this resolved.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Mar, 2013
    John
    Where I keep getting confused is when you state a charge off is just an accounting term and the original creditor is still the debt holder and you owe them. If that is the case than where do these 3rd party collections companies come in that have purchased the debt for "pennies on the dollar"? Is it just an arrangement where IF they can get you to pay the debt (for less than owed) than the original creditor agrees to sell it to them for less than the total amount you paid? It's just odd because the arrangement SEEMS like the collection companies convince you to pay a sum that is much less (like you are getting a deal) and after you do the reality is the original creditor still owns the debt and you STILL owe them.
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Mar, 2013
      Bill
      Great question. Collection agents work one of two ways:
      • Assignment: The original creditor sells, which is called assignment in the legal and collections worlds, a collection account to a collection agent or broker who sells the account to a collection agent. The original creditor has no rights to a collection account the moment it assigns the account to someone else. In other words, once it sells an account, it cannot later also attempt to collect that debt. Assignment is common for credit card collection accounts.
      • Contractor: The original creditor hires a collection agent to attempt to collect the debt. Here, the collection agent works on behalf of the original creditor, and is either given a target range for the amount it must collect, or must receive approval from the original creditor before it can negotiate a settlement for less than the balance due. Some credit card companies hire collection agents as extensions to their own internal collections team.

      Consumers should get any settlement agreement in writing before making a payment, especially if they negotiate a lump-sum payment for less than the full balance. In the legal world, judges and lawyers look for certain magic words in contracts that have a particular meaning. The magic word here is "settlement," which in lawyer-speak is a final resolution to a debt in dispute. If a collection agent sends you debt resolution proposal that does not include the magic word, then keep negotiating to make sure the proposal is for a settlement and not some indeterminate payment plan. Also, keep a copy of the settlement contract, which should be on the collection agent's letterhead and signed by a person of authority at that company, in a safe place in case the collection agent later claims the contract was something other than a final settlement.

      0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Mar, 2013
      John
      Ah ok so when an "Assignment" takes place the original creditor (Major Bank for example) has truly sold the debt to "XYZ Collections" and can no longer pursue you for the debt or actually take you to court and try to get a judgement against you? With that being said is a Pay For Delete attempt even possible at that point? If the original creditor has Assigned (sold off your debt) to another agency than how could they "forgive" your debt and accept the payment in full and delete the record from the reporting agencies?
      0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Mar, 2013
      Bill
      Think of a collection account as a used car. When I sell my car to you and hand over a clear title to it, then I have no rights or liability for the car the moment I convey the title and vehicle to you.

      If I'm an original creditor, and assign a collection account to you, I have no rights to the account.

      When an account is removed from a consumer's reports, all of that collection account's history is removed from their credit reports.
      0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Mar, 2013
      John
      Ok so even if a debt has been assigned to a collector it is still *possible* to negotiate a Pay for Delete. But who do you deal with? The collection agency or go back to the original creditor (Bank XYZ)? When you say in your car example about the title being transferred over does that mean the original creditor is no longer on the credit report at all if they assign the debt?
      0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Mar, 2013
      Bill
      Creditors are required to report accurate information. It is a violation of the agreement that creditors make with the credit bureaus to delete accurate derogatory information, though it does occur. An original creditor is not bound by any agreement you make with a collection agency and can continue to report the derogatory information until 7 years after the date of your first delinquency.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Oct, 2012
    Deric
    Hi Bill. I wanted to ask a few questions. I currently have 2 credit card charge offs from 2008. One for $400 the other for $800. I have disputed these with the CRA's several times but they have came back verified. I plan to purchase a car within a few months and house in another year or so. I also have a paid tax lien showing on my report. Should I pay/settle these charge offs with the original creditors? Send a pay for delete letter? I've worked hard to remove a few other negative items off but these two particular charge offs will not budge. I need some advice
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Oct, 2012
      Bill
      Charge-off is an accounting term and action, and is not the same as debt forgiveness or cancellation. A creditor changing the status of an account from current to charge-off does not change the legal status of the account, or the legal relationship between the lender and borrower. See the link I just mentioned to learn more.

      The derogatory information will remain on your account for 7 years from the date of first delinquency.

      Moving forward, focus your energy on building positive account history on your credit report.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Sep, 2012
    Mary
    I have many credit cards that are almost up for the SOL. On the credit reporting agencies that say it will be off next year. My question is do I even attempt to do anything with them or leave them alone and they will drop off my credit report. Also I have one judgement on my record that will be off (SOL) in 2 years. I was wondering if it is even worth trying to settle with the judgement. Also I know settling the judgement will hurt my credit for a short time, but how long. If you can help not sure what to do. I have also read that they can make the judgement last longer than the sol. The judgement is only for 2000 dollars. My credit isn't too bad for everything that I still have on there. So should I mess with any of this or just wait....confused.
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Sep, 2012
      Bill
      You have two major concerns to deal with: statute of limitations and your credit score.

      SOL: Judgments are often renewable; therefore, don't assume that it will just go away. Beyond hurting your credit score you are also subject to wage garnishments, liens on your personal property, and bank levies. If your credit card debts do pass the SOL, without the creditor getting a judgment, then you will have to consider the financial cost of paying off the debt versus your needs and ability to get new credit. If you don't need new credit, then you might consider not paying the debt. However, many creditors will still pursue the debt and if sued, even after the SOL expires, you still need to make an affirmative defense in court.

      Credit Score: There is no way of predicting how a payment on an old debt in collections will affect your credit score. Basically, the damage was done when your debt went into collections or a judgment was issued. However, over the long run, there is no doubt that your credit score will improve if you pay off old debt, continue to make timely payments, and create a now utilized diversified debt portfolio.
      0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Oct, 2012
      Stefano
      There are many financial tools that show you different ways to get richer and save huge. Just find the right tool and save big. The ones I like most is Smart Calculator and also Finance Tools on Bills.com.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Aug, 2012
    Steve
    What can be done after the original creditor has sold your debt off to a collections agency? I assume it might be 4 or 5 years before they do that because of course they want to collect what they can before that drop off window. But that would still leave you with a few years of really nasty stuff on your report. If they sold it do you have any kind of claim that they MUST delete the record since they no longer own the debt?
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Aug, 2012
      Bill
      A derogatory item can remain on your credit report after charge-off. Charge-off is an accounting term.

      As is stated above, the account can appear on your credit report for 7½ years from the date of first delinquency.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Jul, 2012
    Jason
    Only thing that confuses me in regards to Pay for Delete is how does this work when your debt has been CHARGED OFF or sold? I mean just as an example, if you owed XYZ Bank $10,000 over 5 years ago and now you want to send them a Pay for Delete letter, hasn't that debt already likely been sold to a 3rd party collection for pennies on the dollar? Or can you still pay the original creditor at anytime and hope it works? Because before they charged it off or sold it of course they reported tons of lates and such. If they agree to delete it then what do you do about the 3rd party? Try to make the same deal (pay the debt twice?) or just try to prove their claim on the debt is invalid?
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Jul, 2012
      Bill
      Charge-off/write-off means much less than some people suppose or guess it means. Charge-off occurs when a creditor moves the collection account from its accounts receivable subsidiary ledger, back to the general ledger's bad-debt line. Charge-off does not mean the debt is cancelled or forgiven, or that the collection account has been sold or assigned to a collection agent. The fact the original creditor charged-off the debt does not change its legal right to collect the debt, or the creditor's legal relationship with the debtor.

      If an original creditor hires a collection agent to collect a debt, it is still possible in theory for the consumer to negotiate with the original creditor. However, if the original creditor sold the collection account to a collection agent, then it is pointless for the debtor to attempt a negotiation with the original creditor because the original creditor has no rights or claim to the collection account.

      If the original creditor sold the collection account to a collection agent, then the consumer should negotiate a settlement with the collection agent or seek a debt relief option best suited to their needs.
      0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Jul, 2012
      Jason
      What is the purpose of the wording "this letter is not an acknowledgment nor an acceptance of the debt" in the sample letter? If you are mailing the original creditor about YOUR debt that you have all the details about than how can the letter be anything but complete acceptance and acknowledgement?
      0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Jul, 2012
      Bill
      In law as in other specialized fields, some ordinary-seeming words carry meaning within that field. For example, in carpentry, a square, level and brad are specific items even though outside of carpentry they are generic terms.

      Depending on a state's laws, discussing a debt settlement with a creditor may reset the statute of limitations on the debt. Therefore, the letter template we offer contains the language you mentioned to to prevent a creditor from resetting the statute of limitations on the debt. It also insulates the letter writer from liability in cases where the debt is not their own. You are free to edit the language in the letter as you see fit according to your circumstances.
      0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Dec, 2012
      Jeff
      My ex-wife and I divorced in 2011, we have a house together, even though both of our names are on the mortgage. The judge awarded her the house, but to make a long story short. There is no further consideration due from her to me with regard to the real estate. She agreed to hold me harmless with respect to all expenses related to ownership in the house including the mortgage lien, property taxes, homeowner's insurance and other costs. With regard to costs, she holds me harmless and indemnifies me. I shall execute a deed transferring to her my entire interest in the real estate. In the event she is unable to refinance within 90 days the house shall be listed for sale immediately.

      She hasn't paid the mortgage on the property for the last 180 and this is really messing up my credit score. With the court order my signature, her signature, both our attorneys signature and the judge's signature, could I get that derogatory deleted from my credit report?
      0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Dec, 2012
      Bill
      Your question about an ex-spouse defaulting on a joint mortgage is, unfortunately, one we see often.

      The agreement you and your ex-spouse signed binds both of you, and not third parties. Her written promise to hold you harmless for any consequences resulting from her ownership of the property has no meaning to the consumer credit reporting agencies because your divorce does not change the rights of the mortgage lender. Once you, your then-spouse, and the lender signed the mortgage, all three of you were subject to its terms and conditions. I have not seen any home loan contract with a "If we break up the one who moves out is released from this loan" clause.

      Married or not, together or apart, once borrowers sign a joint loan contract they are jointly and severally liable for the contract. No divorce decree I have seen ever changed a home loan contract.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Jul, 2012
    Don
    Pay for delete reminds me of Cigarette-Smoking Man in The X-Files - "Trust No One." Indeed, I sent the above letter to Capital One and in one fell swoop of a mailing my box was fill with 4 correspondences. 3 from Capital One, and one from a law firm for Capital One. First, they refused the offer and claim a collection agency was handling this debt. I never heard from anyone ever on this debt, I was attempting to fight the bogus interest rates and penalties. Good luck with that. Then a letter thanked me for allowing them to validate the debt per my request. Really? They overlooked parts of the letter from me. Imagine that! Their third letter informed me they had forwarded my request to the correct department - was that the legal beagles? The fourth was, of course, from the law firm telling me they were attempting to collect a debt. How nice. So, this worked out just swell. A tiny hole suddenly got dug out with a backhoe.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Jun, 2012
    K
    We have a car we let go back. We continued to make small payments on the left over amount hoping this would help our credit score. This has been going on for 4 years. I was looking at a pay-for-delete as we are getting close to being able to pay-off the bill. We would love to get this off our credit. Is this something you would suggest? Also can we negotiate the pay off? For example, if we owe $2,000 should we try for a payoff of $1,000 and they delete the derogatory item from our credit reports?
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Jun, 2012
      Bill
      I like your idea to negotiate a settlement with the creditor, but remember accurate negative items remain on your credit report. The creditor gets a lump-sum and is able to remove the account from its books. The lump-sum you negotiate may be less than the balance due, but will be more than it probably expects.

      Work on improving your credit report by making timely payments. With time, the effect of the old collection account will diminish.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    May, 2012
    Stewart
    So here's our situation: The only negative item on mine or my wife's credit report is a collection account for an express credit card she had in 2006. The item only shows up on the Experian credit report, none of the other two have it listed. It was settled for less than the full balance in 2006. We are looking to purchase a home in the next year (joint mortgage) but the item will not likely fall off before we purchase. Is there any way to negotiate a delete if the account has been settled already?
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      May, 2012
      Bill
      Settling an account hurt your credit score. The amount of long-term damage depends on your credit history since the time you settled the account. Since it was a long time ago, if you have made timely payments, have a diversified credit portfolio, and keep your credit utilization down to below 30%, then that negative account should have minimal effects.

      Take advantage of Bills.com mortgage resources before shopping for a mortgage loan. Remember, there are FHA loans for borrowers with lower credit scores. But, make sure that you budget correctly and meet the DTI requirements.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Apr, 2012
    Parker
    I called DECA financial services today, and was able to negotiate a pay for delete on an old doctor bill. I paid in full (around $450) in exchange for them removing the claim entirely from my credit report. When I told them I wanted a written letter or email to state what was agreed upon before I would pay the bill, they said that is not something they do. That every call they take is on a recorded line to show the verbal agreement. They told me that of the delete is not shown on my credit report within the next 30 days, I could call back and speak with a supervisor who could listen to the call and have it rectified. All of that to say, I have two questions.
    1. I did go ahead and pay the debt in full over the phone, was that a mistake? Do I have any legal rights if they do not comply?
    2. And second, my credit score dropped about 90 points when they placed the collection on my report (from 730 to 638). What type of rebound can I expect if they do delete the collection from my credit report?
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Apr, 2012
      Bill
      1. Deleting Accurate Information: DECA should not promise to delete accurate information and most likely did not put this in writing as it violates their agreement with the CRAs.
      2. Rebound is difficult to predict because credit scores bounce around all of the time and for reasons consumers and other folks like us who work in this field do not understand. Read the Bills.com article Mortgage After Foreclosure, Bankruptcy, or Short Sale. This article shows how much a FICO score will drop for certain events, and the time to recovery for these events.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Apr, 2012
    Kimberly
    I have a very small bill ($98) in collections. I have no memory of ever receiving a bill in the mail or any phone calls from this agency. I guess there not very pushy. I don't even have an account number for this debt but it showed up on my credit report. I've sent a "pay to delete" letter but did not receive a response either way. This was over 30 days ago. What should be my next move?
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Apr, 2012
      Bill
      If you do not remember the debt or creditor, it may be a debt put on your credit report by mistake. Therefore, a pay-for-delete should not be your first response to a mystery charge appearing on your credit report.

      Instead, dispute the entry on your credit file.

      Credit reports are far from accurate, and are not a legal record or ledger of a person's debts. In fact, many consumer debts never appear on a credit report, but that does not mean the debts are not owed. For example. a landlord may not report tenants' lease payments on a credit report. Some buy-here-pay-here car dealers ignore the credit reporting agencies, too, as do payday lenders. But all of those may be legal debts.
      0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Apr, 2012
      Kimberly
      I do remember the creditor. It was a doctor and I do remember going to that specific doctor. But what about not getting any phone calls or letters telling me to pay
      0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Apr, 2012
      Bill
      See the Bills.com Debt Do-it-Yourself page to find a sample cease communications letter. If you don't owe the debt then dispute it!
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Apr, 2012
    Jessie
    Does a pay for delete request letter need to be signed or is typing the name sufficient? In addtion does the corresponder of the collection agency need to sign any letters sent back for it to be a legal document or can they just type their name?
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Apr, 2012
      Bill
      It is not possible to answer your question "yes" or "no" without looking at the totality of the circumstances and the intention of the letter's author. For example, it is common in e-mail correspondence for a person to write "/s/ Person's Name" to indicate that "Person's Name" wanted to indicate a signature. Also, a person may write in the body of an e-mail, "Consider my signature is below" or similar language. It really comes down to intention, and the contract's surrounding facts.

      I realize some will argue, with merit, that a handwritten signature is the only way a person can execute a contract legally. This is the case with some contracts, home loans for example, where lenders want a handwritten signature or will withdraw the contract.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Apr, 2012
    Terry
    I have a credit card through a credit union that apparently closed my account in Dec and opened an in-house loan. I was continuing to pay the credit card, knowing nothing about the loan, so it was charged-off a couple of weeks ago. I will have it paid in full by mid-May, but I am starting grad school in the fall and have applied for federal loans and will soon be trying for private loans to supplement. How will this charge-off affect these loans?
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Apr, 2012
      Bill
      Federal loans are based on need and not a borrower's credit score. Private loans are based on a person's credit score and ability to repay the loan. See the Bills.com resource Short Sale, Foreclosure & Your Credit Score to learn more about how your recent hiccup may impact your FICO score.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Apr, 2012
    Joseph
    I just received the debt validation for $10k from a debt collection agency. Is it in my best interest to negotiate a pay-for-delete? If successful, would I still maintain what's left of my credit score?
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Apr, 2012
      Bill
      Depends on your goals and circumstances. Is the collection agent actively pursuing the debt? Do you plan to apply for a loan soon? Can you afford to make payments? Do you have other debts? Your credit score has already been damaged by the charge-off. I recommend that you focus on finding the best debt relief solution to your problems. Then you can work on improving your credit report.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Apr, 2012
    Kristen
    I had 16 years of impeccable credit, and last year suffered a financial hardship, which destroyed my credit. I finally got to a place where i can make the payments but it's all too late, I have 4 derogatory accounts (2 credit card, one medical and one pg&e) on my credit report. I checked my report and its all accurate, and I made payment arrangements with everyone (except medical bills which will just have to wait) and now i need to start rebuilding my credit. Which credit card company is best for offering a secured card? I have a charge-off account with Chase and they said i have to first apply for a card then ask for it to be secure. I know i wont get approved though, sounds like a catch-22? Also, can I do a pay for delete letter with pg&e?
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Apr, 2012
      Bill
      I do not have a specific recommendation for a secured credit card. Bills.com offers a nifty tool to help you compare offers for secured credit cards. See the Bills.com Find Credit Cards page and in the left column, click on "Limited or No Credit History." Compare the offers to find the card that best meets your needs at the lowest cost. Tip: Avoid pre-paid cards if your goal is to build your credit score. Choose a secured card instead.

      0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Apr, 2012
      Kristen
      Thank you for your feedback. I have a few more questions: I'm not a customer with PG&E, but I will be again in about a month. Should I still try?

      I have already set up payment arrangements with a collection agency and claimed the debt can I still do a pay for delete letter? Do i contact the collection agency for that?

      I have a checking account reported in chexsystems, can I do a pay for delete with this?

      I have some money to pay it off or one of my charged off accounts. Which would you recommend to pay off first?
      0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Apr, 2012
      Bill
      I recommend that you work on reaching a settlement with your creditors. The accurate information will remain on your credit report.

      I do not know, and I doubt anyone but an insider at Fair Isaac & Co., the maker of the FICO score, could answer that question with any certainty. I would focus on the most recent delinquent account, since that is probably the one causing the most damage to your credit score.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Mar, 2012
    wade
    I was overpaid by the government and was unable to make the payment for 5 months due to being laid off from my job. The full amount($824) was taken out of my tax return. My payment status says "Seriously past due date / assigned to attorney, collection agency, or credit grantor's internal collection department" since it has be paid is there a way to get it off of my credit report and once it shows up as being paid on my report will my score go up?
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Mar, 2012
      Bill
      File a dispute with the credit reporting agency or agencies that display the information you believe to be in error. Your credit score with rise if the derogatory is removed.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Mar, 2012
    micheal
    Hello I have 4 unpaid medical bills on my credit report. They total $628. I was told by a credit repair company that they could get them removed (for an outrages amount). They told me that they violated my rights by sending them to a third party. Is this true? They made it sound as though I would not have to pay the bill. My second question is if this is false is there away to get them off my credit by making payments on them?
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Mar, 2012
      Bill
      It is too bad you did not name names so that we could tell Bills.com readers to avoid the credit repair company you spoke to.

      An original creditor has the right to assign the rights for a collection account to a collection agent. The credit repair company's statement that the original creditor violated your rights by assigning your account to a collection agent is not true.

      Open a negotiation with the collection agent(s) but don't expect the item to be removed from your credit report.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Mar, 2012
    Rebecca
    Hello, I recently applied for an auto loan and a collections notice for a medical bill came up that from my understanding was paid for by my health insurance 2 1/2 years ago. I am completely certain that this bill should have been paid in full by my insurance and was told it was paid for, however when returning home from college mother gave me a piece of mail indicating it was sent to collections. When I contacted the health insurance this summer to clear up the situation they told me because it was so long ago there was not anything I could do, and because I did not know who I had previously corresponded with, they did not believe me that I had previously addressed this matter with them. Would you advise me to first contact the health insurance to resolve this, the collector to just do a pay to delete, the ambulance company? It has wrecked my credit and I cannot finance a car at this point through a credit union. Thank you so much for your help.
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Mar, 2012
      Bill
      Dealing with medical insurance claims is maddening, and you have our sympathy. There really has to be a better way.

      Without documentation or some other evidence of the conversation you had with the insurance company or service provider, you have limited options for resolving both of your problems: the debt itself and the damage it caused your credit report. You will need to either dispute the item with your creditor and insurance agency or settle the debt. Work on improving your credit score by making timely payments.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Mar, 2012
    Scott
    Hi Bill, I had an account unknowingly go bad after moving out and my roommate taking it over. Apparently it remained in my name despite everything else being changed. There is a minimal debt that has gone to collection for $197 with a settlement offered of $108. The account went delinquent Jan 2011. The collection agency said they cannot do anything except negotiate a settlement and update to the credit agencies that it was paid. The original creditor (DirecTV) said they would help me get it removed from my credit report once I settled with the collector. The agency said they had not heard of a pay for delete and that no one, including them, can do such a thing for you. Currently, this is not on my report but will show up if I pay it off. Can the creditor really do anything for me if I pay off the collection agency? Should I pay it so its closed and hope the original creditor can help me remove it or leave it be until the credit reporting agencies find it and put it on my report?
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Mar, 2012
      Bill
      My powers of foretelling the future are limited, especially when it comes to predicting the behavior of collection agents. You are correct that sometimes collection agents forget to report a collection account to the credit reporting agencies. (All of the errors on credit reports are evidence that when some report derogatory information, they do so for the wrong consumer.)

      If I say, "Settle the debt with the collection agent now," you will be forever wondering if I gave you bum advice, and the collection agent would have forgotten the account. If I say, "Ignore it!" and the collection agent reports the delinquency, you would say, "Bill gave me bum advice, and I should have paid it before it appeared on my credit report." If I say "Ignore it!" and the collector never contacts you again, then I will look like a genius. As I mentioned at the beginning of this comment, I do not know how the collection agent will react to your giving it the cold shoulder.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Mar, 2012
    Ryan
    Hello Bill. I have had four collection accounts on my credit report from around 5 to 6 years ago. It's old debt. I'm in CA, the SOL has expired on all four of them. I'm trying to get a loan but am being denied. I recently sent pay for deletion letters to each of them using a template I found online. Not one of them agreed, they simply sent me back a settlement offer, or an account statement showing I owe the debt. Finally, I was able to get one collection agency (only because I personally went into their office and discussed it with them) to agree and they gave me a letter stating they'll delete it. For the other three collection agencies (live across the U.S.), I've contacted them on the phone after not getting the response I wanted for the PFD requests I mailed to them. On the phone, I never claimed that I owed the alleged debt and never promised to pay. I was trying to get them to send me a letter that they'll agree to a PFD. Two of the agencies are collecting on behalf of the same creditor (Macy's DSNB), and said they were assigned the debt from from the creditor and that the creditor's policy states they will not do PFD. The other remaining collection agency has bought the debt (old medical bill), and has asked me to "pay them first and then they promised (over the phone) to send me a letter that they'll delete it." They would not agree to send me a letter in writing stating that they'd do a PFD upon receiving certified funds. I told all three that I would am willing to pay the full-amount for the alleged debt to be removed from my credit report, but they're making it difficult. I told them I have not requested debt validation yet, but will do so if they will not resolve this issue with me by doing a PFD. The two for Macy's DSNB said they'd do a "paid in full after charge off" if I paid the full amount. what should I do Bill? I want to better my credit score and need it done within a couple months?
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Mar, 2012
      Bill
      Since these are old debts, they should have a smaller impact on your credit score, than new debts. Check and make sure that you are currently doing the right things to maintain a good credit score, including:
      1. Paying on time
      2. Not over-utilizing your credit limits (keep it to about a 35% credit utilization)
      3. Good credit mix, having different types of credit on your report.

      Remember to monitor your credit report periodically. The old debts will fall off your credit report 7 years after your first delinquency.

      0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Mar, 2012
      A
      I would like to know if we may negotiate to possibly pay you for your help and assistance and possibly time to help us to perform the same process to correct and settle our credit issues. You obviously found a fail safe way, sounds intelligent and well thought-out. Are you interested in receiving income for your time and whatever we can work out with your help. We would of course discuss what you may be able to do and how we can pay you. awe would have to discuss and work out everything. Please consider the idea. We would pay for your time. Thank you. E-mail us please if you are willing to listen to what has happened to us. Your wisdom may be a blessing for us.
      0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Mar, 2012
      Bill
      Thank you for the faith in our advice that your comment demonstrates, but Bills.com does not work on individual cases. Bills.com is a personal finance Web site that aims to empower consumers to make sound financial decisions and to find the best way to resolve debt problems. If you wish to ask a specific question, I will do my best to answer it.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Feb, 2012
    Brittrae
    Hello Bill! I have a question...sometime in mid 2010, I applied for a Chase Amazon Credit Card. I was in college and ordered my books online so I thought this would help...well they ended up approving me for a $2500 limit which shocked me! Well, of course I ended up maxing the card over the months with books, food, odds & ends. By late 2010, early 2011 I was consistently paying the minimum balances and eventually got it down to $2300. I graduated May 2011, thus losing my work study and income and my payments started to come late. Finally in July, I was making none until November 2011 when I became employed again. Are my chances of a pay for delete really good with Chase? I have communicated with them during times of unemployment and have made strides to pay them...I really cannot bear to have this glaring derogatory mark on my credit score! I have considered taking a loan out for a shadow amount and just paying for it to make it go away. Would it be worth it? Or should I just pay them down and accept the 7 years of hell? My credit score is barely skimming 600 and that makes me so depressed! It should really be illegal for college students to get credit cards! On top of student loans, we're barely guaranteed a job upon graduation...and we face the hassle of creditors? At least student loan payments can be deferred!
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Feb, 2012
      Bill
      Chase will most likely continue to report your account in an accurate manner, reflecting delinquent status. I suggest that you work with Chase to pay off the account.

      If you take the right steps moving forward to improve your credit score, you can have strong to excellent credit in a year and half or so. You will be well ahead of most people your age, if you learn from what transpired, repair your credit, and keep it in good standing from here on out.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Feb, 2012
    Tom
    I am buying a house and am trying to remove a very trivial charge from my credit report. There was a $22 charge from 07/2005 from my power company that got missed during a transition between account holders as I moved out of my old apartment. I never received a bill for it nor a phone call in 7 years. In 11/2011, I was contacted by a collections agency about the charge, and I was told it would not appear on my credit report if I promptly paid it. I did so, however, when my mortgage broker ran my credit it appeared on my credit report. Since I already paid the bill I have no leverage, do you have any other suggestions for getting it removed? I realize it will disappear in a few months, but we are hoping to close on a home before then. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Feb, 2012
      Bill
      Do you have, in writing, the promise the derogatory would not be reported to the credit reporting agencies? If so, contact the collection agent and explain it broke its promise to you, and you will take legal action against it for breach of contract for it failing to follow-through on its promise.

      If you have no evidence of the promise, then consider a "good faith" letter to the collection agent. I have read about people with resolved delinquencies writing to creditors to ask for a "good faith" removal of a derogatory that was settled. Why not try it?
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Feb, 2012
    Daryan
    Good Morning Bill: My question involves a credit card. I received a Capital One credit card with a limit of $3,000 when I was 18. I was using this card to buy books and school supplies I needed while in college. I thought I was making the minimum payments, until I tried to use my card and it was declined. I was paying the bill through my mom's online bill pay that she had setup with US Bank. Unfortunately, all the payments I was making were being credited to an closed credit card account she had with Capital One. So during this time, I never received a notice or call stating I was behind in payments. All the while Capital One kept lowering my credit limit to $2,000 eventually. In fact, they lowered it so much that it was lower than the amount I'd spent ($2,300) on the original credit limit ($3,000). I'm 24 now and I'm receiving letters from a law firm (Weltman, Weinberg & Reis CO., LPA) on behalf of LLNV Funding stating I owe $5,000. I'm not trying to get out of payments, but I believe there has been a lot of costs added that I'm not responsible for. Just wondering what are my options?
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Feb, 2012
      Bill
      Daryan, I always recommend that a person deal with a problem or mistake as soon as possible, so the problem does not become worse. In your case, it would have been best to have worked with Capital One to have all the misapplied payments applied to the proper account and then worked to pay down the remaining balance. (Was the misapplied money ever credited?)

      By not contacting Capital One, the account fell into charge-off status and eventually was assigned to a collection agency. Over a six year period, it is possible that the debt could have grown significantly with fees and interest.

      You can contact the collection agency and ask for an accounting on how they came to the $5,000 figure. Because it has been more than 30 days, I assume, since you received the first, the debt collector can still take steps to collect while you are seeking the proper accounting on your debt.

      If you have the means, try negotiating a lump sum settlement. If not, setting up a long-term payment plan is probably the only way to protect yourself from collections. Get any agreement in writing.

      Lastly, check into the statute of limitations. Perhaps it has been long enough since your last payment that the SOL on the debt has passed. If you feel it has passed, be careful not to send them a penny, as a payment can restart the clock on the SOL.
      1 Votes

    • 35x35
      Feb, 2012
      Daryan
      Thanks again Bill for all your help. I believe the SOL has passed. Just wondering is it the time from the original debt with Capital One or does it start when the agency has it? Also, I plan on sending them a Debt validation letter.
      0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Feb, 2012
      Bill
      The SOL starts running 30 days after the date of your last payment to the Capital One, in many states. In others, the SOL clock starts on the date the payment was received. Check the laws in your state to learn the precise date.
      0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Feb, 2012
      Daryan
      Thanks Bill! This is a huge help!
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Feb, 2012
    Danielle
    Bill, If you inquire about an old collection account (now with a 3rd party) of 3 years through either the dispute process or the deletion approach technique described here, does that give the collector the right to update/alter any dates in the credit report? I have concerns that either may start that time clock for the 7 1/2 years possibly. Can you kindly clarify?
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Feb, 2012
      Bill
      Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, the federal law that regulates the behavior of credit reporting agencies, the only significant event for the 7½-year rule is the date of first delinquency. Disputing a debt will not reset the 7½-year clock. Negotiating a settlement will not reset the 7½-year clock. An original creditor selling a collection account to a collection agent, or Collection Agent A selling an account to Collection Agent B will not reset the 7½-year clock.

      Anyone who resets the 7½-year clock without the debtor's permission is violating the FCRA. If you see a reset in your credit report, consult with a lawyer who has consumer rights experience. You may have a cause of action (a legal reason to file a lawsuit) against the party that reset the 7½-year clock.
      0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Mar, 2012
      Don
      I have CA's that are being reported as "newer" than the "original" date of "first delinquincy", how can I deal with this Incorrect Reporting on my CR?
      0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Mar, 2012
      Bill
      File a dispute with the credit reporting agency or agencies that display the information you believe to be in error.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Feb, 2012
    Heather
    I have recently found collections on my credit report because of my ex roommate. One was a cable bill for the equipment in which they would not allow me to switch our names when I moved and she did not return the equipment and the second one was a utility bill that she didn't pay for the last month and I forgot to ask if they would take off my name. I have no obligations to these bills as I was not residing in the same state at the time and still paying my roommate rent every month until the lease was up. Not only did she screw me over by moving someone in to take up my rent and still kept taking month from me but caused these collections. I have paid the equipment bill and now disputing the utility bill. The Power Company informed me that they may have it deleted off my credit if I can show my driver license however I waited to get my driver license a couple months after the bill went to collections. I am currently trying to buy a car and these collections are making it impossible. Please give me your best advice on how to proceed.
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Feb, 2012
      Bill
      If the creditor validated the debt as accurate, then the information will stay on your report for the 7 year period. I suggest that you settle the debt and work on building your credit score.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Feb, 2012
    Sho
    I just wanted to let you know THIS WAS EXACTLY THE INFORMATION I NEEDED. Thank you for being so helpful and informative. Just wrote my letter...fingers crossed.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Feb, 2012
    Eileen
    My husband rented a public storage unit using my name. He paid off the last month and told the staff we do not need the unit any more. He was told he needed to remove the lock. We did not go back to remove it (My husband told me when he went back, they would not let him in because it passed the date) and we just kind of ignored it, thinking we paid everything they can do the simple job by removing it. We are going to buy a house soon and I found out there was a collection on my credit report for $150, because we didn't remove the lock. I called the collection agency who said they can't delete the listing even if I paid in full because they are bound by contract from doing so. I then called the public storage collection agency and offered pay in full for delete and she refused. She said they can only update it as paid. I paid a credit repair agency $100/month and after research I found out they do not do much except for sending a debt verification letter. What should I do? Thank you very much for your answer.
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Feb, 2012
      Bill
      Readers? Your ideas on how Eileen can resolve this issue?
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Feb, 2012
    Alicia
    Hi Bill, First thank you for answering my question. I have several closed accounts that are reporting negatively on my credit report. One is a collection that was a student loan. It has been settled and consoldated into another loan. One is a CIti credit card that was opened in 2005. I have been working really hard to improve my credit score the past several years and really want these account off my report. Can I still ask or a "Pay for Delete" even though I have already settled this accounts? Would it be in my best interest to disputes in hopes that the company no longer has my files; therefore have to remove the account?
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Feb, 2012
      Bill
      Once you have made the payments, it is too late to do a pay for delete. If you have settled the accounts, then I see no basis for a dispute. The derogatory items will remain for the full time, however, as they become older, they will less influence your credit score. Remember that making your payments on time is a key factor in building a good credit score. For more information read the Bills.com about improving your credit score.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Feb, 2012
    Mati
    5-6 years ago I took out a personal loan for my boyfriend (at the time) to buy a bike. Shortly there after, he stopped making payments and sold the bike (since the dealership put the title in his name). Now, the I am being summons to court because apparently, he only made 3 payments on the 60 month loan. I am at a loss with what to do! Help!!
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Feb, 2012
      Bill
      If you are being sued, then I recommend that you speak to a lawyer experienced in civil litigation. You will want to check issues regarding the type of agreement you signed, the type of security on the loan, and the statute of limitations. If you have no records of the loan or are not sure that the collection agency has a right to collect on the loan you may consider doing a debt validation.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Feb, 2012
    James
    I have several small debts that are 4-5 years old. They total $1400. I contacted the company about paying the debt if they agree to remove them from my credit report. They did agree to remove if I pay the full amount, but they said nothing would be put in writing. How gullible would it be of me to trust them?
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Feb, 2012
      Bill
      I don't know if I would call you gullible, were you to trust them and they did not follow through. It is a matter of you deciding the risk and the reward. In the worst case, the debts are paid and you're insulated from any potential collection efforts. However, if the debts are past the statute of limitations (and SOL issues can be tricky), then you have additional leverage to negotiate a settlement or not pay the loan. Although the collection agency is willing to take the information off the credit report, according to FTC, there is no legal way to remove accurate information before the expiration date, which is usually 7 years.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Feb, 2012
    lisa
    As of last week I owed 195.00 and made a payment of 50 dollars. They reported it to my credit bureau for $195.00. Now they are saying i owe 165.00. I contacted them to ask about the Pay to Delete letter and she said pay first then we will work with you. I stated that I would like to get a signed response first. If they dont accept, is it better to pay right away,wait to pay, wait for it to go to a third party or not pay at all. My credit went from 705 to 636 beacuse of this. They reported this 2 days ago.
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Feb, 2012
      Bill
      First, set aside $165. Second, call the creditor, and tell them you have the full amount due in hand. Tell them you will send them the entire amount if they send you an agreement whereby in exchange for the $165, they will do a pay for delete. Third, when they do so, sign the contract, make copies of it, and return the signed copy with your payment.
      0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Feb, 2012
      Lisa
      Thanks for your prompt answer Bill. Unfortunately they are not willing to do that. I have another question. Can I dispute this directly to the credit bureau? They reported that I owed them $195 but i actually owe $165. This is what the agent told me and said the phone call was recorded. Isnt this considered inaacurate reporting since the amount they reported was wrong? I paid $50 on January 26 and they reported on the 29. I have a bank statement tp prove i paid before it was reported.
      0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Feb, 2012
      Bill
      See the Bills.com resource Credit Report Dispute to learn the steps in disputing a credit report.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Jan, 2012
    Erika
    I have seen a lender and she said for me to get a secured credit card for a couple of months then come back. My score is 529-545. I have several collections on my credit report. she said do not try to pay them off now because it will bring my score down. I decided to look for a duplex for 6 months, then go back. I have applied for secured card, but when the realtors look at my credit it is bringing it down and they see the stuff on the credit. Is there a plan here?
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Jan, 2012
      Bill
      You don't say how old the collections accounts are or how large they are. Most home loans are going to require a borrower to pay off most collection accounts that are over a certain amount (for example, greater than $200) or ones that have been in collections for a specific time (for example, less than two years).

      I think you need to find out from the loan officer if the lender will require your collection accounts be paid off before you will be granted a loan. If they must be paid, then paying them now makes more sense than waiting.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Jan, 2012
    jay
    Hello Bill. My question is I have a charged off auto loan in 2008 on my CR. Car got repo'd, collection agency then sent me a letter stating I needed to pay the upside down value of the car after it was sold in auction. Collection agency made a deal with me in writing paper hard copy (I signed dated and returned), after paying off the "settlement offer" they would then report on my CR as "settled amount for less". I have about $2,000+ remaining balance. I currently pay $250 a month. Will it be okay to ask the collection agency where I make payments to do a "Pay for Delete" instead of the "Settled amount for less"? I am able to pay in full $2000+ cash in hand. Thank you Bill.
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Jan, 2012
      Bill
      You certainly can ask the creditor, offering them the small benefit of you paying the debt in full now in exchange for a pay for delete. The creditor may accept your offer or stick to the terms you already negotiated and have in place.
      0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Jan, 2012
      Jay
      Thanks Bill for the answer. I have called the collection agency this morning. I make payments every 23rd of the month and have asked a "pay for delete"(also mentioned whole amount of $2000+ cash in hand), her response, they currently don't have that option. Going back to the original, the agreement the collection agency and i have agreed will still be the same terms from day 1...."settled amount and PAID" which will be reported on my CR after paid in full. I have tried and it never hurts to ask. After paying it off, probably in 6 months the most but just want to slowly pay it even if i have the money now...would you happen to know how many points will my credit score increase? 20 points for each of all three bureaus just my guess...After paid off, i'll never hear from them again she said. LOL. I will be free. Thanks Bill!
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Oct, 2011
    Matt
    I have a question and I am really hoping someone here may be able to help. Roughly four to five years ago I made a deal with 3 of my creditors and paid less than the full balance on my credit cards. Unaware of the detrimental affect it would have on my credit I thought it was a great deal. Over the years I have had been outstanding with my credit cards and even bought a home but as far as being eligible for any line of credit anywhere I am constantly being denied because of these accounts. Is there any way to get these removed? I understand the accounts are closed but is there anyway for them to reopen them and pay the remaining balance and have them delete these from my credit history? Or am I out of luck and have to live with this for the next 3 or 4 years?
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Oct, 2011
      Bill
      Accounts that are paid to a $0 balance and are a few years old should not be affecting your credit score so significantly. It may be that it is a lack of positive information that is harming you, as opposed to the presence of these older, settled accounts.

      If no one will grant you credit, apply for a secured credit card, making sure that it reports to the credit bureaus.

      You can also consider hiring a credit repair firm or using the process that credit repair firms employ on your own.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Oct, 2011
    Kate
    I just paid two of my collection accounts in full before finding this website. My question is: Is there a way to now request for the creditor to pay to delete even though I've already lost my leverage by actually paying the full amount?
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Oct, 2011
      Bill
      As you mentioned, you lost your leverage. I have read that consumers have contacted the recently paid-off creditor and asked for an account deletion as a goodwill gesture. I do not know what the success rate is for goodwill letters, but at this point you have nothing to lose but a few postage stamps and your time by trying.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Sep, 2011
    Frank
    I have a charge off on my credit report and nothing else. The charge off was for a vehicle lease I co-signed with my wife. In 2009 she lost her job 5 months prior to the end of the lease and we returned the vehichle at this time. Then in July 2010 was the last time the car was reported on my credit report as charged off. I need to purchase a car now that we are in a better position. I have read to try to settle for $.20-$.50 on the dollar. The original debt is for $3000, should i offer a pay for delete at $1500? or should I seek legal consel to help with this? or could I try it on my own? Any help would be greatly appreciated.
    2 Votes

  • 35x35
    Jul, 2011
    Renee
    What are my options if I did not request debt validation. I made a purchase and opened a credit card at that time in order to receive a rebate. The credit card was never sent, nor were statements. Initially, I questioned the matter when I received a PIN number but no card. Honestly, I forgot about the matter. I pay all bills online didn't notice the absence of statements. Then, when I received the collection notice, I recalled the purchase by the creditor's name. Foolishly, I put the matter aside expecting to go through unopen mail and also to find notes regarding a phone call to the the creditor and "call later". Later never came for sometime and I find a charge off on my CR. Additional principal payments were made to my mortgage and my monthly American Express bill was paid in full during that time, making it clear that I could have and should have paid the bill on time had I received them. However, late fees and interest were accruing on an account which was not sent to me. I do not mind paying for the purchase, but want the excess of 400.00 late fees removed and the charge off removed from my credit report. The collection agency sent me a 50% settlement offer which is less than the purchase amount. However, I would be willing to pay the purchase amount because I received the benefit of that purchase, however I want the charge off removed from the account as the credit corp. was in large measure culpable for the circumstances which led to the entry. What would you recommend if, again, I did not make a timely request for debt validation? Thank you
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Aug, 2011
      Bill
      You are dealing with a bank that does not care about your intentions or sense of justice, nor that you ever received a statement. My advice? Accept the offer for 50 cents on the dollar, and continue your habit of paying your other accounts in a timely manner so that your credit score recovers quickly.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Mar, 2011
    Claire
    3 weeks ago I sent a PFD letter to the CA. The letter specifically states I am not claiming the debt as I really don't think I owe it but offers to pay the full amount for deletion. It's only 208 and I really just want it off my credit. It's been more than 2months since I first talked to them on the phone so I don't think I can't demand DV. I've never received any written correspondence from them even though they claim they have sent it. I even gave them my updated address so they could send something in writing. But I've only had harassing phone calls. I've got no response to my PFD letter. What's my next step?
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Mar, 2011
      Bill
      It is difficult to offer helpful advice to a reader who is dealing with an incompetent or lazy collection agent. Send your offer letter again, perhaps? Readers, I welcome your suggestions for Claire.
      0 Votes

    • 35x35
      May, 2011
      RUBY K
      How about sending them a certified letter and have the letter notarized.
      0 Votes