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CSR60

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Utilization vs. Derogatory marks.
I currently show 3 derogatory marks on my report (recent medical bills). I also have just a 12% credit utilization which gives me enough credit to pay off the accounts but would put me at roughly 65-75% utilization. With a credit life of less than 1 year, should I use credit to clear the marks in one swoop to get them gone or make other arrangements to pay them off?

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I have the same problem and decided not to pay at all, but here are a few things to consider.  There is a seven year waiting period, after which these marks will be removed from your report paid or not.  Unfortunately, paying the accounts off won't help your score, like.. at all.  It changes the status from open to "paid" but remains on your report and is still harmful.  In fact, if you pay the debt, make a promise to pay the debt, or even acknowledge that you are responsible for paying it, the seven years restarts from that point on.  Also, credit card utilization has a big impact on score, and generally you want to keep it to under 30% to prevent it negatively affecting you, so I would definitely not recomend using the card to pay it off if it will put you over.  Depending on how much you owe, you may decide to try and settle with the company (i.e. written aggreements to pay or make a partial payment in return for removal of the delinquent account from your report).  This doesn't usually work but the more you owe the more incentive they have to get you to pay.  If you decide to do so, be sure to choose your words carefully and do some reading before making any kind of contact with collectors or you could hurt yourself even more.

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