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Nintega

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Dispute or not dispute?
I have a collection that recently popped up on my report from a former employer. I actually have documentation that I cleared up everything that was owed when I left the company, so no worries there, besides it's under new management. The amount owed is actually pretty small, so I'm tempted just to pay it off. My question is, if I payed it off, would that be almost like an "admission of guilt" and not positively affect my score as much as if I went through a dispute process, and if I do dispute, is it better to go to the creditor first before going to the bureaus?

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First, paying a collection account does NOT remove it from your credit reports unless a pay for delete agreement was made prior to paying it. If you simply pay it, it will just update to a $0 balance and still remain on your reports. A collection account on your reports is bad no matter what, paid or unpaid, it will continue to damage your scores/profile. If you have documentation that you do not owe the debt, then first you can contact the original creditor and try to straighten things out, if that doesn't work then dispute it with the credit bureaus, and if that doesn't work, contact a consumer law attorney to see what options you have in suing them. If the debt is not yours, then you should not be forced into paying it or have it damage your credit. Due to the damage it is currently doing to your credit, you may want to go directly to an attorney and sue the companies that are wrongly damaging your credit. Many consumer law attorneys that deal with debt collectors will not charge any money up front.

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