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Owe $5000 in debt, all except one is in collections.
Hi. Sorry in advance, just really looking for advice.

My husband (23) and I (20) have been struggling (like many others) the past two years. First I lost my job, then my husbands hours went from 40 to 15. Shortly after he lost his job as well. I had a miscarriage, couldn't pay the medical bill. We had to move out of our apartment, put school on hold, and move in with my parents. After searching for the past year, we finally--FINALLY both landed O-K paying, full time jobs that we start next week.

All of our debts except two (medical bill of $345 & a loan of $1200) are in collections.

We're spending the next year getting financially secure and getting out of debt, and will be paying them off starting this month.

However, I've been reading numerous threads of folks advising to NOT pay debts that are already in collections. Is this true? Ours that are in collections range from being a few months old, to a year, almost two. We're just trying to figure out what to do now that we're actually able to pay.

Thank you so much in advance.

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The reason they say don't pay the collections is because they will fall off your report unpaid 7 & 1/2 years from the date it went delinquent.  Once you start paying on them, the 7 year clock re-starts.  So, let's say you do the right thing, pay them off next year.  They'll still show up on your credit report as a collection (albeit a PAID collection, which is slightly better) for 7 & 1/2 years from the date you paid it off.  So.....

One thing you can try is to contact each of the collectors and offer "pay per delete".  In other words, once you pay it off, they agree IN WRITING to delete the account from your credit report.   Don't take no for the first, second or third answer.  Escalate with supervisors etc.  Once you get an agreement, send something in writing for them to sign stating they'll remove it once paid in full.  

On deciding whom to pay first, you can start with the smallest, that way you get a sense of accomplishment once that debt is gone.  You mentioned school, do you have federal student loans?  If so, I hope you are in forbearance.  If you aren't call my friends at Crest 469-619-0644 and they may be able to help with that issue.  

Another great website about all things credit is  No need to sign up, it's free and easy.  Best of luck!

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Sorry about the error in the title.

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