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reidjamal

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What is the best way to settle my debts with collection agencies
I wish to start paying off debts starting with the lowest and easiest to pay off. How do I go about completing this?

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Contact the Creditors

Really the best way to settle a debt with a creditor is to write them a letter stating this intention.  What I did to start the process was in my first letter I provided my updated contact information, as a way of starting a dialogue.  It only took a few letters & follow-up phone calls to get the negotiation past the formalities of "you go high, I go low" and to come to an agreement for one-time payments (all in writing, of course).  As you said, start with the smaller ones, and without admitting the debt is valid, see if they are open to deleting the account from your credit reports in exchange for payment.  I can't stress this enough; negotiate from the position of "I am not admitting this is a valid debt without original proof but am willing to pay to put this account behind me."  At best, some creditors/collection agencies will remove the account from your report, and at worse you'll be in a stronger position to negotiate payment even if they won't remove the account.  Having a collection marked as "paid/closed, zero balance" is better than it remaining open with a balance, so I still settled even when the creditor wouldn't delete.  One last thing, be very careful about setting up payment arrangements, since giving anyone (esp a collection company) direct access to your bank account is normally a bad idea; I only negotiated from the position that any settlement would be a one-time payment in physical check-form, not a check-by-phone or an automated payment from my bank account.

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