Home > Managing Debt > Can You Get a Debt Collection Account Off Your Credit Report?

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Sometimes life happens – late payments, overdue bills and credit mishaps can hurt even those with excellent credit scores. Even the smallest issue can cause your credit score to take a hit and leave a debt collection account on your credit report. Waiting to see credit scores bounce back, or late payments and collections from previous years to finally drop from credit reports is a not an easy feat.

Generally, it can take years for credit scores to return to what they once were.

It’s true that the primary way to heal your credit is the passage of time. Most negative credit reporting remains on your credit reports for up to 7.5 years from the date you first missed a payment to a credit card that later went to a debt collection company.

You can wait while avoiding major financial moves, but you may need your credit score to recover more quickly. You may be looking to finance dependable transportation, or hoping to purchase a home. Your credit may be in rough enough shape that you are denied credit, or find the loan you can qualify for is likely to be set at much higher interest rates. Future financing plans aside, you may just want your credit score fixed ASAP.

Waiting is not the only solution. Here are some ways to get collections and late pays off of credit reports sooner.

Dispute a Collection Account

You can dispute an item on your credit reports that you believe to be inaccurate, incomplete or out of date. This only works if there is a legitimate cause to believe an item is not yours, like a collection account tied to an account you have never had, or an address where you never lived.

You can also dispute if you think the balance of a collection account is wrong. Collection balances tend to get inflated. Sometimes collectors can’t prove how they are legitimately owed a larger amount than what you think it should be. Balance disputes can occasionally result in a collection account being removed from your credit.

Disputes can result in corrections to errors found on your credit reports. This can be done by phone, but oftentimes it can be difficult to reach someone beyond a customer service representative who does not have the power to handle disputes. It may be better to send disputes in writing and use a certified mail return receipt. Keep a copy of all communications you send and organize anything you receive. You may need them later.

Pay Off or Settling Collection Accounts

Settling old bills that went to collections can help improve your ability to qualify for loans. If you have unpaid collections on your credit reports, you may need to pay them to qualify for a home loan. Or, maybe you’re more financially stable and want to resolve old debts.

Negotiating a lower payoff with bill collectors is fairly common. The savings you can achieve will vary by person and account. Paying old collection balances in full can be a lengthy process, whereas negotiating lower payoffs allows you to resolve multiple debts more efficiently. Either paying in full or getting a debt collector to agree to accept less results in the same thing – a zero balance owed updated to your credit reports.

Paid collections can briefly drop a credit score, depending on the one you are looking at. FICO scores factor in whether or not collection items are paid, whereas a newer version of VantageScore will not factor in paid collection items. Settling a collection account and any resulting credit score drop could impact pricing and access to other credit products.

Pay for Delete Requests

There are some limited instances where you can contact your creditor, or a service provider you owe, and request that they remove any negative reporting in return for your full payment. The opportunities for this “pay for delete” method to work are limited. My experiences suggest you may have a shot with this strategy on unpaid medical and utility bills, but little else.

Goodwill Letter Requests

You may also write a letter to someone still reporting negative information to the credit bureaus even though you already paid that account. This is generally most effective when you have a history of ontime payments.

Creditors have no obligation to remove these payments. Realize you are asking people to make exceptions to set business policies and internal job training. In your letter, keep a polite tone and avoid blaming the creditor. While keeping it brief, mention your positive payments and the personal hardships or situation that led to a late payment. You’re asking the person reading your letter to exhibit good will by ceasing to report negative information.

Ensure your letter is sent to the address for correspondence, not the address that receives payments. You may also want to use certified mail to ensure your letter arrives. While positive outcomes from goodwill credit removal requests are generally uncommon, they can be worth a shot. You may find success writing to service providers and companies.

Use these strategies carefully. Goodwill requests and pay for delete negotiations can be counterproductive if you’re reaching out to debt collectors. They have contracts with the credit bureaus and won’t risk those relationships based on your goodwill request, or a payment for one account. When you request credit report removal as a condition before you agree to pay, it could lead to a debt collector to hold out for more money in your negotiations in exchange for help cleaning up your credit.

Request An Expedition of the Removal

If you want to shorten how long it will take for the credit to be removed from your report, it might be wise to send an appeal. Send a letter of appeal to the collection agency, again using certified mail, asking to expedite the removal of this credit. This is a good option for those who plan to make a big purchase or request a loan in the near future. In this request, you may want to explain why the debt collection item is there and any steps you are taking to move forward and clear debt.

Keep Track

While this won’t necessarily facilitate or quicken the process of clearing blemishes on your credit history, it won’t hurt and it’ll help you stay informed. When dealing with collection items from your past, it’s important to check your credit reports, and to determine what you need to work on. You can monitor your credit scores for free on Credit.com to track your progress and get a plan in place to improve them.

Finding the patience to wait for credit damage to run its course, and making good choices to rebuild your credit along the way, can be tough, but it’s worth it. Whether you wait it out or take small actions to quicken the process, getting your credit back on track will be worth it.  

More on Managing Debt:

Image: Pixsooz

Paige DiFiore contributed to this article. This article has been updated. This article was originally published July 18, 2014.

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  • verizon

    any experiences with getting cell phone company collections removed? Specifically Verizon???

    • http://www.Credit.com/ Gerri Detweiler

      What’s the situation? How old is it? Have you paid it?

  • http://www.Credit.com/ Gerri Detweiler

    If it is legitimate – in other words, it was charged off because you didn’t pay and not because there was a legitimate dispute, then yes you’ll probably need to wait. The good news is that because it’s older it has less impact on your credit than it used to. Are you actively rebuilding your credit? Are you monitoring your credit scores?

  • http://www.Credit.com/ Gerri Detweiler

    Are you hoping that paying it will help your credit? If so, you’re likely to be disappointed. You should research the statute of limitations of course so you know what your rights are. This article may help:
    Does Your Old Debt Have an Expiration Date?

  • http://www.Credit.com/ Gerri Detweiler

    Joshua – by public record do you mean there is a judgment? If so then you are probably getting bad advice because unpaid judgments can remain on your credit reports until they are paid or the statute of limitations expires. And in many states the statute of limitations is 10 – 20 years! If it was entered in 2005 and you pay it then it should come off your credit reports once it is updated to reflect that it is paid, because PAID judgments are reported for seven years from the date they were entered by the court.

    If it’s something other than a judgment let me know what it is.

  • http://www.Credit.com/ Gerri Detweiler

    JD – VantageScore 3 already ignores paid collections. As for FICO 9, it will depend on when lenders adopt it – which could take a while. We have a new story coming on that on Monday.

  • http://www.credit.com/ Credit.com Credit Experts

    Why was it taken off your Equifax report? Was it inaccurate? In many cases, creditors report to all three credit-reporting bureaus (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion). Here’s how to get your free annual credit reports.

  • http://www.Credit.com/ Gerri Detweiler

    Correct. Paying off a collection account generally does not help your credit score. That will change if and when FICO 9 is adopted. You can read more here: Why You Shouldn’t Get Too Excited About the New FICO Score… Yet

  • http://www.Credit.com/ Gerri Detweiler

    Paying a collection account will not improve your credit scores. Nevertheless, if you paid it, it should accurately reflect that the balance is zero. I’d suggest you dispute it, first with each of the credit reporting agencies that are reporting it. If that doesn’t work you can dispute it with the collection agency, and if that doesn’t work you can file a complaint with the CFPB or contact a consumer law attorney. You’ll find more about that here: How Do I Dispute an Error in My Credit Report?

  • http://www.credit.com/ Credit.com Credit Experts

    Dani —
    The payment should be late. There have been cases of bills being sent to collections even though they haven’t been sent to consumers. You can read more here: The Ultimate Guide to Debt Collectors.

  • http://www.Credit.com/ Gerri Detweiler

    It depends on what the dispute is about. If you allege that you were not late, for example and a late payment was removed as a result, then your credit score would likely improve. In the case of a collection account, if you disputed it and it was removed that would likely help your credit score though it depends on what else is in your credit reports.

  • http://www.Credit.com/ Gerri Detweiler

    Collection accounts are a little different in that they aren’t always updated on a monthly basis. Nevertheless, you have the right to dispute an account if the balance is incorrect. Just remember it may take 30 – 45 days to see the information updated, depending on the reporting cycle.

    This article may also be helpful to you: The 7 Biggest Questions About Debt Collections & Your Credit

  • http://www.Credit.com/ Gerri Detweiler

    Here’s an article we wrote on that topic: Removing Collection Accounts from Your Credit Reports

  • http://www.Credit.com/ Gerri Detweiler

    You don’t have to wait seven years to rebuild your credit. Yes, those items will remain on your credit for that period of time but if you start establishing good credit now then over time they will carry less weight. I’d suggest you do three things:

    1. Get your free credit score so you can see where you stand and monitor your progress.,

    2. Get a secured card so you can establish a positive credit reference: How Secured Cards Help Build Credit

    3. Start educating yourself on how to build strong credit. This article is a starting point:
    How to Rebuild Credit

  • http://www.Credit.com/ Gerri Detweiler

    What were the circumstances that led it to be reported? Were you making payments or waiting for insurance to go through? We’ve written extensively about medical debt and collections. It’s a huge problem: The Ultimate Guide to Solving Your Medical Bill Problems

  • http://www.credit.com/ Credit.com Credit Experts

    Ryan —
    Unfortunately, paying it off doesn’t have an effect on when it comes off. (So paid or unpaid, it’s still on your credit report. However, paying it does mean there is no danger that you’ll be sued for repayment; that could result in a judgment, which is far worse for your credit.) You can read more here:
    Will Paying a Collection Account Hurt My Scores?
    Will Settling a Collection Account Hurt My Credit?

  • http://www.Credit.com/ Gerri Detweiler

    Oh good! Do follow up and check your credit reports in a couple of months and let us know if anything changes.

  • http://www.Credit.com/ Gerri Detweiler

    My understanding is that the statute of limitations for most consumer debts is four years in California. If this is for a car then I assume the amount is fairly large. Is that correct? If you don’t pay it then there is a risk that you could be sued for the debt. The other risk is that if the first collection agency can’t collect they may sell it to another one and that could affect your credit.

    The real question is whether you can afford to resolve it, either by paying it off or settling it for less than the full balance (if the collector agrees).

  • http://www.Credit.com/ Gerri Detweiler

    Yes, it’s extremely frustrating to know that doing the right thing won’t impact our credit scores right away. (That will change in the future once newer scoring models like FICO 9 and VantageScore 3 are more widely adopted). In the meantime, it never hurts to ask. You can ask them if they will be willing to stop reporting it if you settle it. (Get the settlement agreement in writing and be sure you are clear on the terms before you settle.) And as collection accounts age they carry less weight provided everything else is paid on time.

  • http://www.credit.com/ Credit.com Credit Experts

    If you mean late payments, they will fall off your credit reports seven and a half years after they first went late. That said, they will have less impact as time goes on, especially as positive information is added. Here are a couple of resources that might be useful to you:
    How to Rebuild Credit
    How Long Does Negative Info Stay on My Credit Report?

  • http://www.Credit.com/ Gerri Detweiler

    Paid collections (and unpaid ones) can be reported for the 7.5 years we described in this article. If there is anything inaccurate or incomplete about how it is reported you can dispute it with the credit reporting agency. If it is not confirmed at the source if will be removed.

  • http://www.credit.com/ Credit.com Credit Experts

    What sort of case manager? It’s hard to understand why it would be removed. You can read more here:
    Does Your Old Debt Have an Expiration Date?
    The Dos and Don’ts of Paying a Debt Collector
    Will Paying an Old Debt Hurt My Credit Scores?

  • http://www.Credit.com/ Gerri Detweiler

    Collection accounts may be reported for seven years plus 180 days from the date you first fell behind. It sounds like that date may be here, or about here (depending on the month you first fell behind). If that time period has passed and they are still on your credit reports you can dispute them.

  • http://www.credit.com/ Credit.com Credit Experts

    You could offer to pay in exchange for the removal of the collections (and get any agreement to do so in writing). But be aware that the agency is under no obligation to agree (and some have policies against it). Paying a settlement may not get it removed from your credit history, but it will remove the threat of a lawsuit — and a judgment would be more damaging to your credit than a collection.

  • Tricia

    Does a negative medical charge drop from your credit report 7 + years after it was sent to a collection agency OR from the date it was actually paid off. There is 3 years difference in the dates.

    • http://www.credit.com/ Credit.com Credit Experts

      Tricia —
      Paying off a collection account doesn’t take it off your credit report, though lots of people believe it does. You can read more about debts and how long they can be reported or collected (often not the same) here:
      Does Your Old Debt Have an Expiration Date?
      Hope that helps clear it up for you.

  • http://www.Credit.com/ Gerri Detweiler

    It sounds like it is incorrect and you disputed it but it wasn’t corrected. I would suggest you file a complaint with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. If that doesn’t resolve it let us know. (And if it does we’d like to hear about that too!)

  • Michoacana Parasiempre

    I had some medical bills that i did not pay because i never got them in the mail until i got a letter from collectors i paid off about a year ago i want to get a loan to buy a home will that still affect me

    • http://www.Credit.com/ Gerri Detweiler

      Yes. Paid collection accounts may be reported for seven years plus 180 days from the date you first fell behind with the original creditor (the medical provider). I recommend you meet with a loan officer to find out how much this has affected your scores and your ability to qualify for a mortgage.

  • dean

    My credit rating is over 800 but I have one small late payment to Macy’s two years ago while traveling overseas. After several rejected appeals and inquiries–is waiting 7 years the ONLY way to overcome this discrepancy to increase my rating?

    • http://www.credit.com/ Credit.com Credit Experts

      If you have a credit score of more than 800, in most models, you qualify for the best rates anyway. Late payments can stay on a report for 7 years and 180 days after they are first reported, but their impact fades with time, and a positive credit history helps minimize their impact.

  • http://www.Credit.com/ Gerri Detweiler

    It doesn’t sound like they should show as open accounts anymore. If it’s been more than a month since you paid them off dispute them with each of the credit reporting agencies that is reporting the wrong information. A Step-By-Step Guide to Disputing Credit Report Mistakes

  • http://www.Credit.com/ Gerri Detweiler

    Are you paying as agreed now? If things are current now then over time those late payments will carry less weight and you should see improvement before the 7 years is up. It will take time but I wouldn’t say it’s a lost cause.

  • http://www.Credit.com/ Gerri Detweiler

    Paying a collection account does not mean it will be removed from your credit reports. Collection accounts may be paid for 7.5 years, paid or unpaid.

    If there is any information related to the collection account that is inaccurate or incomplete, you can dispute it with the credit reporting agencies. If they can’t confirm it with the source, it will be removed.

  • Curtis Mclaurin

    Can you negotiate a payment and payoff of a new collection before it listed on your credit?

    • http://www.credit.com/ Credit.com Credit Experts

      It doesn’t hurt to ask, and before it is listed is a great time to do so.

  • http://www.Credit.com/ Gerri Detweiler

    The person at the collection agency who told you that is absolutely wrong. Collection accounts by law may only be reported for seven years +180 days from the date you first fell behind with the original creditor. The date the account was placed for collections is irrelevant for that reporting period. Dispute these in writing with the credit reporting agencies and let them know they are too old and the dates are wrong. If they are not removed, you can get a consumer law attorney involved or file a complaint with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. This may help: A Step-By-Step Guide to Disputing Credit Report Mistakes

  • http://www.Credit.com/ Gerri Detweiler

    If they can’t verify the account, then it must be removed. You can dispute it with the credit reporting agencies and if it’s not corrected then you could take legal action. The only thing that concerns me is that you say you are applying for a mortgage. Are you in the process of that right now? If so, disputing it could hold up your mortgage loan. This is a tough situation to be in when you’re trying to get a loan and don’t have much time. You may need to get an attorney involved. Please read: How a Credit Report Dispute Could Stop You From Buying a Home

  • http://www.credit.com/ Credit.com Credit Experts

    Dispute the information with the credit bureaus (although if you repaid within the past 30 days, you may want to wait a bit to do it).
    Here’s how you would do it:
    A Step-By-Step Guide to Disputing Credit Report Mistakes

  • bm4n

    I’ve got consolidated student loans, a bunch of inquiries, and 1 auto loan on my credit report. I had a few unpaid accounts that were older than seven years, closer to 10+ years, but they are no longer on my credit report. Do I still have to pay them? and is it still impacting my credit if its not listed on the reports?

    • http://www.Credit.com/ Gerri Detweiler

      If the accounts are not reported on your credit reports they don’t affect your credit scores. As for the other part of your question, we wrote this article:
      What Happens If I Never Pay an Old Debt?

  • http://www.Credit.com/ Gerri Detweiler

    Paying it off will not make it stay on your credit reports longer. You can always try a pay for removal deal, but collectors are under no obligation to agree to do so.

  • http://www.Credit.com/ Gerri Detweiler

    Patrick – yes. It is typical for both the original account and the collection account to be reported. However, the information about both accounts should be accurate.

  • Sarah Spangler

    I have something that is on my credit report for a dental office and they are now closed. How do I pay this? Or how do I get this off/possibly dispute this since the office is no longer in business?

    Thanks for any help!

    • http://www.Credit.com/ Gerri Detweiler

      If you dispute it with the credit bureaus, they must confirm it with the furnisher who was reporting the information. If it cannot be confirmed, it must be deleted. It sounds like it can’t be confirmed at this point, so it sounds like it will be removed if you dispute it.

      • Sarah Spangler

        Thank you Gerri! Do you know much about filing disputes? I don’t even know where to start! Any insight on this would be great. And, do you know if there is a certain time limit where you have to file a dispute? For example, if it’s been on there for 3 years can I still dispute it? Thanks again for your help.

  • http://www.Credit.com/ Gerri Detweiler

    It shouldn’t work that way. I don’t know the nature of your dispute so it’s hard to comment specifically, but if you are convinced the information is wrong I would suggest you talk with a consumer law attorney. You may have a case for credit damage and what the collection agency is doing may be illegal. If you don’t want to go that route, you can try filing a complaint with the CFPB.

  • adriana

    Hi just got discharged from ch 13 got my credit report and have 4 collection my question is on same hospital visit I received 2 different bills one for 82 dlls the other one for like 3000 bot are with the same collection agency so if I pay the 82dlls one to try to get it off my report will it restart the 7yr time on the other balance since it was on the same hospital visit? Also the bills where Feb 2013 but on my credit report it says 2014 I think it’s when that collection agency got them so the 7 yr start in 2013 or 2014?
    And lastly when checking my report on experian on the collections it says closed acct but on the other 2 credit agency’s they show as open why is this showing like this? I really hope you can answer me please this is new to me after 5 yr in bankruptcy thank you

    • http://www.Credit.com/ Gerri Detweiler

      I am having a very difficult time following your questions. But if I understand them correctly, paying a collection account does not affect the time it will remain on your credit reports. Collection accounts may remain on credit reports for seven years plus 180 days from the date you fell behind with the original creditor (in this case the hospital). The date the account was place for collection is irrelevant for that purpose.

      As for the open versus closed, it sounds like that is the way the collector is reporting it. If it’s inaccurate you can dispute it.

  • http://www.Credit.com/ Gerri Detweiler

    If you were in the US I’d say you should definitely dispute those balances but I don’t know how it works in Canada, unfortunately.

  • LASHONTAE WILLIAMS

    I have 9 items that have been removed from my credit report but they are still showing on my credit report and my score hasn’t increased. What do I need to do to get those items removed. I have also consolidated my schools loans which are a big hit on my credit what do I do to get those removed.

    • http://www.Credit.com/ Gerri Detweiler

      I am sorry but I don’t understand what you mean. You say they have been removed but they are still showing???

      As for your student loans, consolidating them doesn’t remove them from your credit reports. However, the old ones that were paid off with the new loan should show zero balances. If not, you can dispute them. Please read: How Do I Dispute an Error in My Credit Report?

      • LASHONTAE WILLIAMS

        THANKS SO MUCH FOR YOUR REPLY. THEY HAVE BEEN REMOVED FROM MY CREDIT REPORT BUT THEY ARE STILL SHOWING. ALSO WITH THEM BEING REMOVED SHOULD MY CREDIST SCORE RISE HIGHER THAN ONE POINT.

        • http://www.Credit.com/ Gerri Detweiler

          Forgive me but I just don’t understand what you mean when you say they have been removed but are still showing. How can they be showing if they are removed? Did they reappear? Or did you get a letter saying that they would be removed but they haven’t? I am just completely confused.

  • Rashaan Alexander

    I have 2 charge offs that have a date of June 2012. I believe that both are much older than that (should be 2006 or 2007). Both look like they were bought by the same debt collector and possibly re-aged when purchased (which I believe is a violation of the FCRA). Will sending them a verification letter force them to revert back to the original date? Will they have to send me proof of their date?

    I already sent dispute letters to all 3 credit reporting agencies and all they did was list that the item was being disputed on my credit report. Does this mean that they investigated and agreed that the debt is valid.

    Thanks for your help.

    • http://www.Credit.com/ Gerri Detweiler

      Can you tell me exactly what is reporting in terms of the date June 2012? What date specifically does it say?

  • http://www.credit.com/ Credit.com Credit Experts

    You should tell them you will send a check as soon as you get the letter. If you pay first, you have no leverage and no proof of what the representative said. (And remember, they are not obligated to remove it, and some, by policy, will not.)

  • http://www.Credit.com/ Gerri Detweiler

    The collection account can be reported for seven years plus 180 days from the date you first fell behind with the original creditor. Do you know when that was? (The creditor you defaulted on leading up to collection.) If it went to collections in 2006, then it sounds like it would have been prior to that and it is too old. Dispute it and let the bureaus know it’s too old. If it doesn’t get removed, you will need to either get a consumer law attorney or the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau involved. Please read: How Do I Dispute an Error in My Credit Report?

    • Rashaan Alexander

      Thank you so much for your help.

      • http://www.Credit.com/ Gerri Detweiler

        Sure. Let us know what happens OK?

  • YellowBus

    I have 1 item on my credit report from Toyota Motor Credit that’s hurting me. It was paid off April 22, 2011. It is reported as closed. I was 5 times late. How long will they keep reporting this?

    • http://www.credit.com/ Credit.com Credit Experts

      YellowBus —
      It can be reported for 7 years, 180 days, but its impact will fade with time, particularly if there is other, positive information (like an installment loan or credit card, consistently paid on time). You can find more here:
      How to Rebuild Credit

  • Ben

    Hi –
    A couple of years ago my wife and I had credit reports pulled for something and unknown to us she had a collection showing on her report. It was a medical collection that we were never notified of. We had to visit an ER while out of our insurance network, and the insurance company required a letter from her OBGYN to verify that the ER visit was required before they would pay anything. The OB sent the letter immediately, but the insurance never changed our status, and as such, they didn’t pay the hospital. As soon as we saw the collection we called to gather info and the insurance admitted the mistake (they had the letter on file, just never processed our appeal), and agreed to take care of the collection that wasn’t our fault. Fast forward to today, and we’re about to have credit reports pulled for home buying, and her score is still significantly lower than mine because that collection is still showing on her report, listed as “paid” rather than being removed. It is a little over 3 years old now.

    We’ve started the dispute, but I don’t know if we have a chance at getting this removed. Do you think we have a shot? And if it does, do you know about how long it will take for it to be reported?

    • http://www.credit.com/ Credit.com Credit Experts

      Certainly it doesn’t hurt to ask, BUT the timing is bad. A credit card dispute can hurt your chances of qualifying for a mortgage as well. You can read more here:
      Could A Medical Collection Account Keep You From Getting A Mortgage?

      Can a Credit Report Stop Me from Buying a Home?

      • Ben

        Well, our 3 bureau/FICO scores are good (I am above 800, and she is in the 750 range). I think we’ll qualify for the best interest rates, but should I now be worried that we have an open dispute for this collection? Through our efforts so far we’ve discovered that Equifax doesn’t have this collection on its report, Transunion has it listed as a negative account rather than a collection, and Experian has the collection still listed as open. Our Equifax dispute is closed, while the other two are still pending. Hopefully we can get these cleared up without impact to our mortgage plans. Those few percentage points will make a big difference in the end!

  • http://blog.credit.com/ Kali Geldis

    Hi Jeana —

    We try to reply to all comments, but some slip through the cracks. Can you ask me your question now?

    • Jeana_12

      I have a collection on my credit report that I was never notified about. I lived in another state and moved out of state in December 2012. I left a lease about two months early with the knowledge and ok of the apartment manager. My roommate and his girlfriend remained in the apartment. The manager told me she could take me off the lease but the security deposit that I paid would not be returned until the others moved out. I only just found out about the collection when I checked my credit report two days ago. It was put on my credit report in June of 2013. Can they send something to collection without notifying me first? I’ve never changed my phone number and they had my forwarding address. What can I do?

      • http://www.credit.com/ Credit.com Credit Experts

        Jeanna —
        Unfortunately, even though someone told you you were OK to leave, etc., it’s going to be hard to prove unless you have something written. Do you? Without that, it becomes a “he said, she said” type of situation.

        That is the bad news; there is also some good news here. Assuming your credit is otherwise good, this collections will have less and less impact on your scores as time goes by. You’re not alone in finding seriously negative credit information the way you did. You can read more here:
        Help! I Found a Judgment on My Credit Report

  • http://blog.credit.com/ Kali Geldis

    Hi Lashontae —

    Are the items showing up as in dispute on your credit reports?

    • LASHONTAE WILLIAMS

      No they are still reporting as negative and past due.

      • http://blog.credit.com/ Kali Geldis

        Have you reached out to Lexington Law to ask what’s going on there? Also, when did you pull your credit report?

  • Joana

    I recently got a collection placed on my credit report for a debt to my previous apartment building who charges me move-out charges that I did not agree with. The debt is only for $114 and prior to this coming up on my credit report, my FICO score was 730. I called the collection agency and they won’t delete the collection even if I pay in full. Consequently, my FICO dropped to 650. Should I pay this off even though it will still be on my credit?

    • http://www.credit.com/ Credit.com Credit Experts

      It is up to you. Not paying it could result in penalty fees, interest and possible lawsuit. (And a judgment would hurt your credit worse than a collection.) But please do not assume because it’s a relatively small amount, they won’t follow up. (See: A Debt Collector Came After Me for $8.97.)

      But do know that time, and positive credit history, will reduce the impact of that collection.

  • KidKobe210

    I have a really old, unpaid account (about 6-7yrs) that says on my report that: “This account is scheduled to continue on record until May 2016”. My wife and I are looking to buy a home in about a years time. My question being that If i were to send an offer letter for partial of amount due, in exchange that they report it as paid in full and if they were to accept it, would that activity delay the current date set right now for it to be removed from my report? I’m willing to wait if needed till May 2016, but in case we house-hunt prior to that date, I would assume having it show as paid would be best (and hopefully not there at all after May 2016).

    • http://www.Credit.com/ Gerri Detweiler

      I assume this is a collection account? If so then making a payment could create a problem for you as the more recent activity could affect your credit score. However, it’s possible that the lender could require you to pay it off in order to close on the home loan. My suggestion is you don’t do anything until you are ready to buy and you’ve talked to a loan officer who can advise you as to whether you need to take care of this in order to close. If it’s significantly affecting your credit scores, then it may be well worth it to wait until it comes off your reports and you can verify that. It’s a little hard to say because it is very old and therefore the impact at this point may be limited.

      • KidKobe210

        It is indeed a collections account. I will wait ’till I speak with a loan officer. Thank you for your prompt response, much appreciated!

  • http://www.credit.com/ Credit.com Credit Experts

    Age, but it would need to be seven years, 180 days after the account first went late (and without additional account activity).

    • LASHONTAE WILLIAMS

      it has been so when its that way and it says charged off then when disputing it what do I say for the reason.

      • http://www.Credit.com/ Gerri Detweiler

        When you can dispute it you can indicate that you believe it is too old to be reported any longer.

        • LASHONTAE WILLIAMS

          THANKS FOR RESPONDING..I APPRECIATE ALL THE HELP.

          • http://www.Credit.com/ Gerri Detweiler

            Of course. Let us know what happens.

          • Pedro Sanchez

            im fixing to have a paid car loan almost paid off only 3k left on it…….but i have 2 open colleciton accounts i want to handle im 23 years of age can someone help me by where to start with some help so my credit can go up with my car loan being paid off too……..?

          • http://www.Credit.com/ Gerri Detweiler

            While paying off a car loan may save you money, it isn’t likely to boost your credit scores. Neither is resolving collection accounts. We wrote about the latter here: The 7 Biggest Questions About Debt Collections & Your Credit.

            Do you have any open credit card accounts that you are paying on time? If not, you may need to get one. If you are having trouble qualifying, you may need to get a secured card. How Secured Cards Help Build Credit

  • jamesjblk

    So I’m trying to fix my credit I’m 25, and when i was younger 18 n dumb i opened up cards, and couldn’t pay them back, so now I’m almost done paying them off, and would like to know some things. my score is a 561 i have a judgment on my sore, which I’m almost done paying off, and will be receiving a satisfaction letter from them once done, which i also got from the collection agents from my other debt i had, and now paid off. before sending these letters to all 3 CB what should i write a letter asking to please take it off? will they be removed? or at least my score will go up a little from sending the letters? also i have a student loan on my credit in good standing. all the account are almost hitting six years old. when do you think i would be able to get another credit card after this, and how long until my credit sore will ever be in the 700’s again? 2055?

    • http://www.credit.com/ Credit.com Credit Experts

      The story above your comment has some of the best ideas we know for handling the situation. In particular, take a look at details (such as incorrect amounts) to see if there is an error to dispute. As Michael Bovee says, time will also help. You can get a secured credit card NOW. If you do that, be careful to pay it off on time and to keep balances low relative to your credit limit, which will be roughly equal to your deposit. That positive history will offset some of the problems, and your negative history will fall off your credit report after 7.5 years. Here are some resources that may help:
      How Secured Cards Help Build Credit
      How to Rebuild Credit

  • http://www.Credit.com/ Gerri Detweiler

    If these are reported as charge offs then it sounds like the charge off will be removed July 2015. Collection accounts probably can go another 180 days after that. I am not sure whether it will be worth the time and effort to try to get them off early but it’s up to you whether you want to try.

  • http://www.Credit.com/ Gerri Detweiler

    So it sounds like this debt was incurred in Feb 2009 and probably became delinquent a month or so later. If so then it can be reported as a collection account until around Sept 2016 (approx). The statute of limitations may have expired by now so there may not be much they can do to force you to pay. You could try to settle it but then you possibly open a can of worms. Settling it won’t get it off your credit reports but may allow the mortgage to move forward.

    Have you spoken with a loan officer to see whether this must be paid to close a loan?

  • Rita

    Hello Gerri. I am in process of trying to get an FHA loan while repairing my credit to get to the 620 min score needed. I had paid down my cc balances to less than $10 each (new accts I have opened in the past 4-8 mths thinking they would help my score but now hurt me as new accounts) and also paid 6 collection accounts per what my mortgage guy told me. After he had rescored, I still was not at the 620. I know from reading that the likelihood of asking for these to be removed is slim to none. Even after doing what my mortgage guy stated should have worked after he rescored, it didn’t – I am wondering if there is a truly honest co that will assist me in getting to the 620 mark without just trying to take my money – I am in a rush mode as the house I wish to buy is now rented to me for 6 mths (starting April 1 2015) hoping I can attain the mortgage, otherwise I lose my dream home and $ I already have in escrow on it – It is so hard trying to know what to do step by step as nothing is what it seems and the FICO for mortgage compared to everything else is crazy….just wanna do it right but don’t know what to do next as I have a lot of old accounts not currently reporting but showing negatively (hope you understand meaning of that)…thank you!

    • http://www.Credit.com/ Gerri Detweiler

      Rita – I really do feel for you but the problem is that it’s not a matter of honesty. The problem is that no one – no matter how honest – can guarantee they get your score up to what you need in the time frame you are talking about. I am not saying it is impossible; after all, I don’t know exactly what’s bringing down your scores. But it sounds like it is a combination of collection accounts and short recent positive history both of which are difficult to “fix” fast. I wish I could say “this company can fix this for you,” but it doesn’t work like that.

      The other problem is that sometimes things you do to try to fix your credit can have unintended consequences. For example, if you dispute an item and it remains in dispute that may hold up your loan. (How a Credit Report Dispute Could Stop You From Buying a Home)

      That said, you can talk with your loan officer and see if he recommends someone he works with and they can give it their best shot. Or you could look into a hard money loan for a year or two. This is risky and will definitely be expensive, but sometimes buyers make it work by refinancing in a couple of years.

  • http://www.Credit.com/ Gerri Detweiler

    Ah I didn’t realize it was that much. That does make it quite risky as these loans often carry interest rates of 10 – 15%.

  • http://www.Credit.com/ Gerri Detweiler

    I am talking about a loan from a private lender. Rates are high and loans are short term. They are most often used by real estate investors who plan to fix up and flip homes.

    • Rita

      Oh..where would I look for such a lender?

      • http://www.Credit.com/ Gerri Detweiler

        Usually loan officers or real estate agents know who they are – you have to ask around locally. I don’t want to get your hopes up that it is the right solution but it might be a back up if you can’t get your credit to where it needs to be in time.

  • Michel Sylwestrzak

    I have an old debt owed to an apartment that is offering me a settlement (from a collection agency) of 40% less then owed. They said if I pay 75% of whats owed they would remove it from my credit report but not if I pay the 40% less. Is this true as to what they can do or offer?

  • Shawn Thor

    Hi,

    If I want to have an item removed from my credit that is owned by a collection agency who has it reported on my credit report, should I call them first to see if that would be acceptable? Or should I just send them a letter stating that I will pay in full if they remove it from all three credit reporting agencies within a certain time frame?

    • http://www.credit.com/ Credit.com Credit Experts

      Shawn —
      You can try asking them to agree in writing to remove the negative item. However, some have a policy against this, so there is no guarantee they would agree to it. While paying off the collection won’t remove it from your report with most scoring models, it will remove the threat of being sued and having a judgment against you, which is an even bigger negative on your credit report. But it never hurts to ask. The agency might agree.

      • Shawn Thor

        Hi,

        Thank you for your response. I guess what I am wondering is should I just send a certified letter? Or should I call them before sending the letter?

        • http://www.credit.com/ Credit.com Credit Experts

          There’s no need to call first, but certainly you can if you wish.

  • brenda

    I have since Payed all my negative accounts off some Creditors removed quickly. How do i get Some creditors Just to show its paid driving me crazy.

  • Aless

    I have several collections on my credit report. They are all medical. How can I rebuild my credit without having to pay them off? The only line of credit I have is my car loan.

    • http://www.Credit.com/ Gerri Detweiler

      As they become older they will have less impact on your credit. But you do need current references to rebuild credit. Have you considered a secured credit card? You may want to look at our list of the
      Best Secured Cards in America.

  • http://www.Credit.com/ Gerri Detweiler

    No.

  • http://www.Credit.com/ Gerri Detweiler

    You’ve disputed it via the collection agencies right? Wait and see what they say. If they can’t verify it then it will be removed. If they do verify it then you can ask them to provide you with the contact info for the collection agency.

  • http://www.Credit.com/ Gerri Detweiler

    Sorry I should have linked to the list of our picks: Best Secured Cards in America

    • Aless

      Thanks!!
      I got approved with capital one secured credit card.

      • http://www.Credit.com/ Gerri Detweiler

        Congrats! Remember to keep your balances low. :)

  • James Julian

    I’m legally fighting loan and attorney told me to stop paying on it. I’m current without any lates and don’t want to mess up my credit. The attorney told me after we win the case any negative from the loan will be remove. Is this true?

    • http://www.Credit.com/ Gerri Detweiler

      It may be if you prevail.

  • Isabel P

    I have a loan with Cash Call listed on my credit report as a charge off. I have been denied credit everywhere because of this. I never paid the company a dime and have always wanted to honor my debt. The principal is $2600 but the amount owed is $2200. They have sent me settlement offers in the past for $1800. My goal is to improve my credit whether it is through removing the account all together or having them remove the charge off status. I do not know how to go about this. I know everything should be in writing. I do not want to waste time going back and forth. What should I offer in my initial contact letter? Also, I am willing to pay the 2600.00

  • Ashley

    Hi. I moved out of an apartment September 30, 2014. I left a forwarding address with the complex but never received any notification of a final balance due. In January, I received a call from a collections agency notifying me that I owed about $67 to this apartment complex. This amount in collections was reported on my credit score, and my credit has taken a substantial hit. Is there anything that I can do to resolve or alleviate this decrease in my credit score? The management at this apartment showed signs of incompetence toward the end of my time there by repeatedly charging me the wrong amount of rent, and I would not be surprised if they simply failed to send the final bill or sent it to the address at the apartment I was staying in. I contacted the collections agency and paid the balance about 1 week ago. Please help! I don’t want my credit score to remain poor for years to come.

    • http://www.Credit.com/ Gerri Detweiler

      Have you tried disputing it? If you dispute it with the three credit reporting agencies and it is not confirmed it will no longer be reported. Now that you’ve taken care of it it’s possible they won’t bother. If they do, you may want to file a complaint with the CFPB. I can’t point to any specific laws they have broken but it does sound like the situation is unfair. Let us know what happens.

  • patrick

    Hello, I was informed about a $140 charge from a vendor through a collection agency that was from 4 years ago. I let the collection agency know i wanted to dispute it and then called the vendor and found out that I never received the billing statements because they didn’t have the right address. I’m still not sure if I even used the service but the vendor claims they did an internal check and I did. This has dinged by score from 780 to 680. Looking for advice on the best way to settle the amount (pay the reduced amount to collections – $45, or pay in full to the vendor), and any steps I can take to get my score back up soon. Thanks.

    • http://www.Credit.com/ Gerri Detweiler

      See if you can get the vendor to pull it back from collections so you can pay them directly. If they don’t, and you have to pay the collection agency, keep in mind it won’t necessarily improve your credit scores. More in this article:The 7 Biggest Questions About Debt Collections & Your Credit

      If that doesn’t work you can try complaining to the CFPB but there’s no guarantee that will result in it getting removed.

  • Brian H

    I have a charge/sold account from a Bank to collections. It’s clear up and The collections is off my Credit Report, But it still appears on my credit report from the bank. Can I despute this and can it be removed sense they sold it?

    • http://www.Credit.com/ Gerri Detweiler

      I don’t understand what you mean when you say it is off your credit but appearing on your credit report from the bank. Is it possible they are pulling your credit from a different credit reporting agency than the one you reviewed?

  • Jose Ripoll

    Would it benefit me at all to pay off an unpaid medical bill that’s in collections?
    It’s about 2 years old

    • http://www.credit.com/ Credit.com Credit Experts

      It would remove the possibility that you would be sued and get a judgment against you (and a judgment is a bigger negative than collections) for the amount owed plus court costs, etc.

  • adviceplz

    Hi & thanks so much for all your advice! I have old debt (7+ years old) on my credit reports and am wondering how to get them taken off since the period has passed. Do I need to write them a letter?? & if so saying what? Thanks so much in advance!

  • Kayla M

    I have 3 medical debts all from the same creditors, they happened back in 2011 and 2012. When I look on my credit report it says that the accounts are closed. Does this mean I have a better chance of getting them off of my credit report?

    • http://www.Credit.com/ Gerri Detweiler

      Not necessarily.

  • kristen

    I have a repossession from a year ago. The lender is GM financial. I found out today they have not sold my debt to a collection agency yet. I called them and they told me they are willing to settle my debt for $6250; I owe them $13000. My question is if the debt agreed to is paid, how will it affect my credit score. I am currently trying to repair my credit to get a home loan. Is there any chance they would consider removing this account from my credit?

    • http://www.Credit.com/ Gerri Detweiler

      You can try but it’s doubtful. It’s rare to get something major like a repossession that is accurate removed by negotiating, but it doesn’t hurt to ask.

  • KiArra

    I have an account that keeps getting updated on my credit. How can they do that?

    • http://www.Credit.com/ Gerri Detweiler

      Can you elaborate?

  • Victoria

    My debt began in 2012 sometime. I currently owe $2636 to Midland Credit . ( A collection agency ) If I try to negotiate the payoff to $1400 because that’s all I have to offer will it still hurt or damage my credit at all. I would like to soon be able to refinance on a car, get a loan, buy a home, new credit card etc? I don’t want to pay what I can and it still hurt me in the long run anyways? Help?

  • rika h

    I had a Sprint bill on my credit through a collections agency, this agency no longer has my account. It is in a request status to come off of my credit because they no longer have it. I spoke with the new agency and they allowed me to pay a settlement amount, they stated that if I pay it before their deadline to report to the credit bureaus it would not show on my credit anymore. Is this true? I told them that I didn’t want anything to show up on my credit report as settled in full and they said it wouldn’t. How exactly would it show then?

    • http://www.Credit.com/ Gerri Detweiler

      It is possible that they will not report if you pay it promptly, but I would encourage you to get it in writing to protect yourself. If they won’t, then at least tell them you want a witness on the phone and ask someone to listen in while you clarify that it will not appear on your credit reports if you pay it by that date.

      • rika h

        What is the best and fastest way to get the other two items off of my credit report or would look the best on my credit report? Would it be to pay them off in full, settled in full, etc. These companies are stating they will not take it off of my credit report. What do I do???

        • http://www.Credit.com/ Gerri Detweiler

          I’m sorry I think I missed something here. Do you mean there are two previous collection accounts for the same debt? If that’s what you are talking about, dispute them. More info in the Double Jeopardy part of this article: Why Kicking Debt Collectors Off of Your Credit Report Just Got Easier

          • rika h

            No, these are two different ones on my credit report.

          • http://www.Credit.com/ Gerri Detweiler

            Paying those other accounts or settling them probably won’t make much of a difference in the short term as far as your credit scores are concerned. But it could prevent them from being sold to subsequent collection agencies which in turn would place new collection accounts on your credit reports. More details here: The 7 Biggest Questions About Debt Collections & Your Credit

  • Heather

    If I have my financial institution send the checks out for my debt and they put a letter in stating that if the check is cashed that it must be removed from my credit reports do they have to honor it if they cash the check?

  • Sudeep Sen

    After my relocation to CT from FL,my earlier rental apartment never notified me of a carpet replacement and sent a 500$ bill to a collection agency.I got to know when my credit score reduced due to this.
    I remember the carper was in good shape and i should not have been charged for it.
    However,is paying off the open collection amount the only option for me.Or is there any workaround,please advise.

    • http://www.credit.com/ Credit.com Credit Experts

      You would have to check your lease agreement. In some cases, people decide they would prefer to pay a bill they don’t believe they owe than risk losing an excellent credit score. It’s a tough situation. But be aware that paying a collection does not necessarily improve your score. See:
      The 7 Biggest Questions About Debt Collections & Your Credit

  • Helpplz

    On my credit report I have 2 credit cards that I didn’t pay with the amounts of
    $600 and $2200 and they say charged off. I called these 2 companies to see how
    much my balance was to clear them off my credit history (basically I want it to
    say zero balance) and they both said they weren’t collecting that money anymore
    and I asked if they could send me a letter saying that they were no longer
    collecting that debt but they told me they couldn’t do that. I already received
    a 1099c tax form from one of the companies. And the other one was in the process of sending me the 1099c. Is there anything I can do to clear this up in my credit report? I just want the balance on these 2 credit cards to say zero on my credit report.

    • http://www.Credit.com/ Gerri Detweiler

      How long ago were these debts charged off?

  • Connie J Brown-Morales

    My son had been deployed to Iraq and had a phone from tmobil. He let tmobil know he did not need his phone until he came home and ask that they put the bill on hold. When he came home 1 year later. They had turned it in to collections. He then paid collections the full $159 he owed tmobil. He asked that the collection agency remove this from his credit because he is wanting to buy a house. But the collection agency said they wont remove it for him or anyone else. So he can not get the VA to approve his loan amount with this on his credit. So how would we get them to remove this form his credit.

    • http://www.credit.com/ Credit.com Credit Experts

      Please check your email. We’d like to learn more about your son’s situation.

  • Jim

    US Bank pulled my report and found a collection acct being reported by all three agencies. When I look at my own report via Equifax/TU, I don’t see this acct anywhere… I just noticed yesterday that it was removed from TU this week! Why is US Bank seeing these yet all MY info says it’s not there???

  • Joe

    I have 2 items in collections and I was able to pay to delete one item. The other was another matter. They refused to delete the debt from the report and refused to put anything in writing that would indicate that the amount was paid. What can I do to make sure it gets removed from my credit report?

    • http://blog.credit.com/ Kali Geldis

      Hi Joe —

      The collection account you had removed from your credit may have been part of what’s called a “pay for removal” deal:
      http://www.credit.com/credit-reports/removing-collection-accounts-from-your-credit-reports/

      Some collectors will remove accounts from your reports once you pay, though not every collector will do this. Legally, those accounts, even paid, can remain on your credit report for up to 7.5 years.

      Hope this helps!

  • Curious Linda

    Tenants are moving before 2-year lease is over – moving 10 months early. Have not paid rent for two months but initially agreed to settle paying the two months, and want security deposit returned. I am willing to return security deposit but will hold them liable for rents until I re-rent property. However, they want security deposit returned with no further lease obligation and will stay in property until agreement reached. Can I report their late payments to credit bureau even though we have not agreed upon a settlement? They’re extending their stay at least through July, again without paying rent.

    • http://www.Credit.com/ Gerri Detweiler

      As an individual landlord you will not be able to report late payments directly to the credit reporting agencies, which must vet sources of information they report carefully in order to comply with state and federal laws. If you turn a balance over to a collection agency that reports, then it will be reported. Or if you take them to court and get a judgment that should automatically be reported.

      • Curious Linda

        Thank you so very much for the information! Very much appreciated.

  • Amy

    I have about four medical bills totaling $5,000 in collections right now from three to four years ago. I had good credit before that hospitalization and it has been ruined since then. What is my best route for repairing my credit? Should I, one, do nothing since it has been four years. Two, try to negotiate with all of them and settle with all of them. Or three, pay in full just some? I am trying to improve my credit the best I can. Thank you.

  • ablonderobin

    I am currently trying to repair my credit that was destroyed by Identity theft. It has been a slow and tedious process and I wouldn’t wish this nightmare on my worst enemy. However, the good thing I can see as a result of this; is that I have gained a valuable education about credit and debt management. This article was extremely helpful and informative. I have scoured the internet and read a lot of articles, blogs and found resources like the Federal Trade Commission and the Consumer Protection Agency that provide some recourse for the obstacles we have to hurdle in order to protect our credit status. Thank you for the informative article. I will be looking forward to reading more.

    • http://www.credit.com/ Credit.com Credit Experts

      Glad it was useful to you. And good luck untangling the mess that resulted from the identity theft.

  • Shakeya

    I recently paid off an account that I had in collections which was from a dentist visit January of 2013. I am in the process of building a house and though my credit score is rather high my FICO is much lower. Will the fact that i paid this off help or hurt my scores? Is there any way to get this off of my credit?

    • http://www.credit.com/ Credit.com Credit Experts

      A FICO score is a credit score, so we’re a little confused about a high credit score and low FICO. Paying off the collections should not hurt your score, but it is unlikely to help. You can ask that it be removed, but if it’s accurate, that could be an uphill battle. You can read more about paying collections here:
      The 7 Biggest Questions About Debt Collections & Your Credit

  • Blake Parsons

    I had a phone with AT&T and when i deployed to afghanistan in February 2014 I had requested that it be suspended and the account was brought to a zero balance. When I applied for an auto loan today I found that I had a collections amount of over $700 for At&T. Is there anything I can do about this. I never received any bill or notice of any sort

    • http://www.credit.com/ Credit.com Credit Experts

      Blake —
      First, thank you for your service.
      Have you tried contacting AT&T? We wrote about a similar situation (though with a different provider) here: Can a Bill I Never Received Wreck My Homebuying Chances?. You may want to want to contact the military legal assistance office. The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) protects active-duty military members from a host of civil and financial obligations, including issues related to cellphone plans.

  • Ebony

    I have paid off my debt to the collectors. The debt is showing as a charge off. Should I send a dispute letter to the bereau to have it removed. It was paid off 6 months ago. Will the beareau remove it.

  • http://www.credit.com/ Credit.com Credit Experts

    Military legal assistance first . . . they can give you the best direction about what to do next. Most likely, AT&T sold the account to the collection agency. Sometimes, those accounts can be pulled back from collections . . . In any case, legal assistance would be our first recommendation.

  • Wondering

    I have a 2 positive accounts and 8 negative. The negatives are all medical. $5,000 worth of medical. Do I do the “pay for removal” or just wait it out? Trying to build up my score.

    • http://www.Credit.com/ Gerri Detweiler

      You don’t mention how old these are and how soon they are going to come off your reports. I also have to warn you that “pay for removal,” is not common. Most collectors will not agree to that because the contracts they sign with the credit reporting agencies prohibit it. So the odds of getting five off your credit reports that way aren’t terribly high…You can try but you may not find the success you hope for.

    • Danny

      It’s funny how u ask a question but the person answering beats around the bush and doesn’t answer. The answer to your question is dispute all medical bills don’t pay them at all type in hipaa violation. Send it in and I’m talking online on the dispute page transunion.com/dispute and the other one to tgey will be deleted at the end of the month they have a month to do it if they don’t all get deleted do it again…your welcome

  • http://www.Credit.com/ Gerri Detweiler

    I am not sure I follow @MsJ but on an account where the date of first delinquency is 3/09 it can be reported for up to seven years and that would be 3/16. Is the second repossession for the same car loan as the first or a second repo? If it’s a different one then it can be reported for seven years from 12/12/

  • http://www.Credit.com/ Gerri Detweiler

    Yes.

  • Nikkih314

    I had a $10,000 credit card debt that was charged off and sent to a collection agency. I have been making small monthly payments (automatically deducted from my account) to the collection agency for over 7 years. This item just fell off my credit report. I still owe $3500 and the agency will not settle for less. They are due to call me to set up another 6 months of automatic deductions. What will happen if I decide to stop paying the collection agency now? Can they take any adverse action if the statute of limitations is up? I live in Ohio.

  • Lizeth Melendez

    Hello, when I did my credit score with Trans Union, under adverse accounts it came back showing one SCA Collection agency that I owe $278.00 for a Medical Bill
    (Emergency Room). So now I don’t know what to do, either pay it all off to be taken off my credit or just not pay it since I read it might lower my score! Can someone please assist me with what I need to do please??? I am worried? Thank you much!

    • http://www.credit.com/ Credit.com Credit Experts

      It should not hurt your score. You can read more here: Will Paying a Collection Account Hurt My Scores?

      Not paying a collection, on the other hand, can lead to a lawsuit and a judgment. It doesn’t always, but it is a risk you take if you don’t pay.

      • Lizeth Melendez

        So what can I do? Pay or not pay since I read it will not be taken off my score anyway. Or should I get In contact with the collector and try to ask them to take it off?

  • alexa

    I have 3 open accounts. If I set up payment, will that put me in good standing or do I need to pay in full before I’m in good standing? Also, do I pay the open or closed accounts first?

    • http://consumerrecoverynetwork.com/ask-a-question/ Michael Bovee

      If you have already fallen behind on payments to these three accounts, by how many months?

      What types of accounts are these? Are you being contacted by third party debt collectors on the closed accounts?

  • sade

    I have a collections account that just posted today for a medical bill for $187.00. I’ve been working on rebuilding my credit for the last few months to purchase a home. Since this account is fairly new should I contact the original creditor or the collections agency to settle this, should I pay it in full and ask them to remove it from my credit report? what should I do?
    Thanks,

    • Good Luck!

      Pay it off so that shows that its paid on your credit report. Make a copy of the bill and send them a check. send them the copy and the check. Write on the check your account number and paid in full. You will need to prove to the credit agency that you paid it off.

  • Mr Trap

    Can an account that has been charged off still report open? Can that account report CO every month as payment or should another monthly status be reported?

    • http://www.Credit.com/ Gerri Detweiler

      My understanding is that yes, it can continue to report each month as the balance is still owed. I’ll be writing about this in the near future.

    • http://www.Credit.com/ Gerri Detweiler

      We wrote a story that hopefully helps answer your question: How long can charge-offs hurt my credit?

  • Trevor Matthew Corbin

    If I was never evicted, I never received a summons. However I have a bad rental history or credit from an apartment that just changed the locks, how long will that prohibit me from renting again, I have a house now, bu my ex wife is having a tough time renting and its year 6 and change since the report.

    • http://www.Credit.com/ Gerri Detweiler

      Negative information can generally be reported for seven years.

  • Tamara Ede

    Just got a phone call today that says we are being taken to court for not paying off a credit one line. It has been paid off and last year when I pulled my credit report it shows up as a charge off because it wasn’t still fully paid for. Now that it is in getting phone call saying that I’m being sued and have to pay 15,000 for a lawer. Is it even possible to be sued for a charge off? Specially if I paid it off

    • http://www.Credit.com/ Gerri Detweiler

      Are you sure this is legitimate and not a scammer? If you are being sued you should get a formal notice of the lawsuit. You need to do some research to find out if a. the caller is legit, and b. why they believe they can sue you when your understanding is the debt was paid in full. Insist on written notification of the debt as required by law.

      I am not saying this is a scam but it does sound suspicious. Please read: 9 Signs You Are Talking to a Debt Collection Scammer

  • rexzy2@yahoo.com

    Why can a company charge off and item, but yet another company buys the debt and then harasses you to pay. Didn’t the charge off give a tax relieve to the creditor. So why now do you have to pay or not pay again – and or have another agency appear that you had an agreement with them? Does not see fair.

    • http://www.Credit.com/ Gerri Detweiler

      No unfortunately a charge off is an accounting matter and it doesn’t relieve you of the obligation for the debt.

  • Rachel notAprodigy

    Is there a real helpful link that explicitly gives directions for how to proceed in removing a debt from your credit? There are so many discussions it is starting to get confusing. A very explicit step by step would be helpful.

  • Gina

    Hi,

    I have old credit cards that are paid off or that I never used. Should I close them? If I close them will they get removed from my credit report?

    • http://www.credit.com/ Credit.com Credit Experts

      Gina —
      In general we advise people to keep old cards open. This post explains the reasons:
      The Biggest Credit Mistake People Make

    • http://www.Credit.com/ Gerri Detweiler

      Closing them will not remove them from your credit report. If they are credit cards and not collection accounts then closing them may affect your credit scores depending on your overall debt usage ratio. FYI, you can check yours when you get a free credit report card from Credit.com.

  • Gina

    I have a couple things in collections. If I pay them off in full how long will they still be on my credit report? If I negotiate to pay less how long will they be on my credit report?

    • http://www.credit.com/ Credit.com Credit Experts

      They should stay on your credit report for seven years, 180 days after the bill to the original creditor was first reported late. Paying them off or settling them does not affect how long they stay on your report (unless you are able to get the collector to agree not to report it; if that is the case, get it in writing).

  • Ericka Sabrina

    I was 8 months pregnant and had a horrible black mold issue in our apartment. I tried to remedy the issue and even got a doctors note to give to the leasing complex because i was having a lot of headaches and nose bleeds after the 3 months of living there. Back n forth they didn’t do the mold remediation as they were supposed to and we were told by an outside company that is wasn’t the green mold they were stating but in fact black toxic mold. We decided to break our lease for the baby and move out giving them a 30 day. Of course they denied it and took their time to rent out the place. So they sent us to collections and kept our deposit and when collections contacted us, i just told them i wasnt going to pay a dime because we ultimately made the best decision for us. But as a few months went by it was on my mind and i called her back two weeks ago willing to negotiate. The lady stated that the debt wasnt bought by them, they were hired by the apartment company so she could only reduce 20% and i had two days to come up with the 5 grand. that was impossible. I told her i would try but i wont pay if they hit my credit and i just get the email from credit karma stating i have a new collection account. NOW WHAT TO DO. i wanted to negotiate but it already hit my credit. I didnt want it to hit at all. Please help, where would i go from here.

    • http://www.Credit.com/ Gerri Detweiler

      I am sure this was terribly stressful for you. But it would have been helpful to have consulted an attorney before leaving so perhaps you could have gotten out without any expense or damage. It may not to be too late to do that so that’s certainly worth looking into. Or you could see if your local housing agency can help. Here’s more information about tenants rights.

      I don’t have a simple solution for you, unfortunately. As far as your credit is concerned, you could try to get them to negotiate to remove it if you pay it, but that’s completely optional on their part.

      You can still dispute the collection item on your credit report because you don’t believe you owe it. But if the collection agency that reported it confirms it as correct it will wind up on your report.

      These articles may help: What Really Happens When You Dispute Something on Your Credit Report? and A Step-By-Step Guide to Disputing Credit Report Mistakes

      • Ericka Sabrina

        I checked and its on my report under collections and open. What does that status mean? Since its on, would my only option would be to negotiate and pay to have them remove it completely?What are my chances? whats the worst that can happen if I just let it be. I just want to see if there is anything i can do now, I know i should have done something back then to avoid this but i believe that i still made the best decision for my little family to get out of there for health reasons. Now as things are simmering down and debt isnt too bad i would like to at least try and remedy this if possible.

        • http://www.Credit.com/ Gerri Detweiler

          Of course. I understand completely.

          As to your question. it simply means there is a collection account on your credit reports and that it is unpaid. We’ve written extensively about collection accounts on the blog. If you simply type that into the search box at the top of the blog you’ll find articles that may help. I’d suggest starting with this one: The 7 Biggest Questions About Debt Collections & Your Credit

  • Dusty Weaver

    I have some Medical Bills from both 2013 -2014 that have added up to over $ 2300.00. The Hospital Sold the debt to a Collector and now I would like to Settle and also request the best method that will Clear my Debt With the Hospital as Paid and also what is the best type of Settlement with Debt Collector and what will help me the most on my Credit Report. My Credit Score isn’t bad now and the bank today said if I settled with Collector, by score would rise even higher pretty soon. Any suggestions would be benefit me greatly. Andrew.

    • http://www.Credit.com/ Gerri Detweiler

      Settling a collection account generally does not raise your credit scores as we explain in the article below. The only thing that will really help in the short term is if you can get them to stop reporting the collection account once it’s resolved. But they aren’t obligated to do so. Please read: The 7 Biggest Questions About Debt Collections & Your Credit

  • yari

    Good morning.
    recently my husband and i purchased and signed the
    contract for our first home because we both qualified and put down
    1000.00. but the type of loan we got requires the loaner to pull our
    credit every 3 months until closing (which would be in Jan 2016),
    recently they pulled MY credit and medical bills hit my credit making ME
    disqualified for the loan (making my credit score a 616 from a 680) all
    i need is a min 640 to re qualify for the home loan…i called the
    credit agencies and paid off two of the debts i owed. Now one of them
    stated that they will pull it out of my credit but will take about a
    month to do, however the other debt (which was only 118.00) they stated
    that they can not pull it out and will only show as paid off/closed but
    will remain on my credit. is it possible and worth writing a letter to
    the 3 credit bureaus (equifax, experian, transunion) showing the debt is
    paid off and I’m needing it to be removed from my credit in order to re
    qualify for the home loan? is so, would you have a sample letter
    stating how to word it and what would i have to send with the letter.
    thank you in advance

    • http://blog.credit.com/ Kali Geldis

      Hi Yari –

      Unfortunately, the credit bureaus are under no obligation to remove accurate information from your credit report. Medical bills can definitely take a toll on your credit, we understand the difficulty in getting those issues resolved. We suggest talking to your mortgage lender to see what they’d advise you do to get re-qualified for the loan.

  • BrookeNeedsHelp

    In 2011, I had an item placed with a collection agency. Unfortunately, I
    was unable to pay at that time, and this debt was either sold my the
    original creditor or by the collection agency after two years. I am
    unsure of why/who transferred this debt. In 2014, another collection
    agency contacted me regarding this same debt from the same original
    creditor. The amount owed was the same as the ending balance owed from
    the first collection agency. However, this item is showing as OPEN in
    BOTH collection agencies, which shows that I have DOUBLE the amount of
    collection debt. Also, the new collection agency is reporting that the
    date of debt is in 2014 (when they first contacted me) and not in 2011
    when the debt was initially taken to collections. What can I do to
    resolve both of these issues? Will the first collection agency
    completely remove this item or will they just show it as closed? I don’t
    want this double hit on my credit any more.

    Thank you!

  • Bridgett

    Can a cell phone bill stop you from getting a home loan if you were already pre appoved for the loan ?

    • http://www.credit.com/ Credit.com Credit Experts

      Bridgett —
      Until closing, just about anything can. Credit scores and reports (among other things) are rechecked just before closing, and any significant change can cause a problem.

  • MtnFrost

    On my credit report, I have an old store credit card debt that went to collections 5 years ago. I found a collections agency is reporting that same debt as a separate negative item (double jeopardy) AND keeps marking each month as the first month it’s been in collections, presumably so that the time clock never reaches 7 years. So how do I get this removed? I expect to have to deal with the first negative item, but not this second entry. Much thanks. I’ve read the article here on double jeopardy, didn’t clearly address my situation.

  • dmor

    If a collection company agrees to remove your debt from your report, how long will it take, or can it happen immediately?

    • Jeanine Skowronski

      Hi, Dmor,

      Creditors typically report on a 30-day cycle so depending where the agreement takes place, it may not disappear right away, but if it continues to appear on your report for over a month or so, you may want to contact them again.

      Thanks,

      Jeanine

  • Jeanine Skowronski
  • frustr8d

    I am in the process, again, of fighting a bogus charge from an apartment complex I left 6 years ago. Multiple notices were given, way before the 60-day required in my state. Yet, they began seeking a month’s rent for the month after I left (I stayed for a month after my lease expired….WITHOUT any further agreement. Still, notice of intent to vacate had been given at least 90 days before I left.

    It was turned over to FCO, who annoyed me for a few years, although I contested the charge at every turn. Then it stopped. Not until I got a credit report recently did I realize the charge was still open! I called them twice, and they told me I had no open balances. Then I asked for a supervisor and gave her the specific account number and “HEY…YOU OWE US MONEY”. Obviously a half-assed company, but still a thorn. They now won’t return my emails….what to do??

  • Jeanine Skowronski

    You should call your servicer to find out the status of your dispute. If they did turn you down, you may want to consider paying to avoid adverse action. Keep in mind, paying would make disputing the information later on more difficult since it could be seen as an acceptance of the charges. This includes with the credit bureaus, though you could furnish receipt of the payment to them should the information appear on your credit report afterwards. It all depends on how they plan to handle the dispute moving forward.

    Thanks,

    Jeanine

    Thanks,

    Jeanine

  • rocky_storm

    I have a rental account which went to collections in January. I came to know about it 2 weeks back. I need to pay about $2k as the balance. Actually, i stayed at that place for 5 months and forgot to make a lease transfer. The other friends of mine did not pay the balance and I came to know about it when it is reported to collections. What should I do now? Can anyone please help me?

  • Jeanine Skowronski

    Unfortunately, they don’t have to stop reporting the account. They just have to report that it’s been paid. Collection accounts can stay on a credit report for up to 7 years from the original bill’s delinquency date. You can find some tips for getting a mortgage with a collection account on the books here:

    http://blog.credit.com/2015/02/i-have-unpaid-debt-on-my-credit-report-can-i-still-get-a-mortgage-107939/

    http://blog.credit.com/2013/09/qualifying-for-a-home-loan/

    Thanks,

    Jeanine

  • Cheryl A

    I just found a collection on my credit report for 3100….I called and they said it was from 12’2010…From a hospital I was never seen at the er walked out due to waiting..And I’m not sure that was in 2010….Isn’t there a time limit?

  • Brandye R Gronzo

    I have a wrongful eviction that was immediately dismissed in court with a zero balance. Two out of three bureau’s have removed it from my credit. Equifax has not, even though I’ve sent in proof including the dismissal. How do I get this removed?

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