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Terashell

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Is it better to pay back in full or try to haggle down?
I have a few accounts in collections for a few years, but the 7 year age off is still a long ways away. I'm just wondering if I should contact the creditors, get the proof of owing or whatever in writing, and see if I can either haggle them down or try and get them to delete it from my report so I can improve my score.

Some of them I could pay, one I can't pay now or feasibly in the future.

I'd contact the original creditor for a few of them since there are extenuating circumstances, but I doubt that will accomplish anything.

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Only pay to delete

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As long as they're not suing you, there's no reason to pay them unless they agree in writing to delete the collection from your credit reports.  Having a notation that says you eventually paid won't help your credit one bit.  If they don't agree to delete it, it will be there for 7 years paid or not.  As for haggling, heck yeah!!!  If your debts are several years old, they've probably been charged off and sold to debt purchaser for pennies on the dollar.  Pretty much anything they get out of you is profit, so most will take whatever they can get.  It's also good to approach them at the end of the month.  That's when you'll find them hustling to get their numbers up for the month and they'll be more inclined to accept a lower payoff.  Just remember to get a promise to delete for payment in writing before you pay them a penny!!

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Try this first.  Write letters to all three credit bureaus and ask them to verify the accounts.  Then wait about 35 days and see what happens.  You can then use the responses you get to decide if you want to contact them and settle (lots of times they'll send you a settlement offer).  If you don't get a response after 35 days, write another letter and send a copy to the collectors.  You may be surprised that some of these accounts will magically disappear from your report without any payment being made.  It certainly works for me!

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