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MYDT

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paying off a derogatory item on credit report, what should the letter state

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You need to understand such things as the Statute of Limitations on Collections (which varies by state) and how to negotiate a 'pay foir delete' agreement before you proceed, and you will find that information in the articles on this site.  Those can save you money but so can taking the time to read the articles here so you can really learn how credit works because, from your question, you do not know much about credit. And that is the fault of our education system since even the college classes on business and accounting that I took did not address this life factor.

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