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AlleH

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How can I settle an account that is in collections and is reflected on my credit report?
There is an account showing as being in collections and I'd like to resolve this account. It doesn't specify who this debt is owed to. I need detailed information to be able to settle this. If that something credit karma can provide me with?

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Go to annualcreditreport.com and get copies of all three credit reports.  The information you need is on one of them.  If it is not your debt (and errors have shown up on credit reports) file a dispute with the credit bureau reporting it.  Otherwise, you will have the contact information on one of the reports.

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Pull your reports directly from the credit bureaus if you are not getting all the information you need on here. The three credit bureaus are Experian, Equifax and Transunion. Once you find out who is reporting the collection, either contact them or the original creditor with a "pay for delete" offer. Always try to get a "pay for delete agreement" prior to paying. Just be ready to pay in full at once if they will agree to the pfd. Not all debt collectors/creditors will agree to pfd's but it is always worth a try. Second to that, sometimes they will settle the account for less than what is owed. You also want to be aware if the account at hand is within the SOL (statute of limitations) for you to be sued for it. You have more bargaining power once the account is past the SOL. Also be aware of Credit Reporting Time Periods on old accounts as they are not allowed to remain forever and may fall off on their own. Also, always make sure that the debt collector is not violating the FDCPA (fair debt collection practices act) in anyway, because if they are, you will have all kinds of leverage and they may even end up owing you money. If there is any inaccurate informatiion on your reports about the account, you could dispute the inaccurate information and hope for a complete removal.

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Always use caution and educate yourself the best that you can before dealing with old debt on your reports so you don't make any costly mistakes.

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