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Should I Pay My Old Debts or Just Let Them Fall Off My Credit Report? – Lucas

“Dear Steve,

I got laid off about 6 or 7 years ago. During that time, all my accounts; credit cards… loans, personal accounts went into default. Today, over 6 years later, my credit is worse than it has ever been.

I believe that all my credit cards,and accounts that went into default fall under “expired debt” since they are atleast 6 years old. I finally got my student loans rehabilitated and they all show “paid as agreed” for the last 7 years and that i am current on my payments. The only account i have that is even “collectable” (with the exception of my defaulted car loan) are my student loans and again, they are up to date.

I finally got my stuff back together and i am afloat and doing pretty well. however, i feel almost as though my negative credit is never going to go away. there is always a NEW collection agency purchasing expired debts that are well over 7 years old.

This question comes because i recently got married, and had a baby and REALLY need to buy a house some day. if you were to look at my credit report you would see that nearly EVERYTHING negative is atleast 6 years old.

what i would like to know is:

What would you think would be the FASTEST way to repair my credit? if not repair my credit, make me marketable to mortgage companies so i can purchase a house?

which would be the best option to purchase a house sooner?

bankruptcy to wipe the slate clean more quickly?? even though all my derogatory credit is a year from falling off…

or

time? Simply allow the 7 years to complete and let everything fall off. and dispute a derogatory when an account gets resold to a new collection agency after the 7 years.

Lucas”

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The Answer

Dear Lucas,

At this point as long as you don’t make any promises to pay that old debt nor admit to anything about it, it should fall off your credit report no later than 7 years and 180 days from the day it was first reported in default by the original creditor. Usually it will no longer be reported after 7 years.

A couple of points to remember.

  1. Just because the debt has fallen off your credit report does not necessarily mean it can’t be legally collected on. You’d need to check on the statute of limitations on your state.
  2. If the statute of limitations has passed that just means you can’t be sued for the old debt. They can still try to collect though.

It’s time to start improving your credit and since you ended on a low note all those years ago we can’t begin to bring it up unless we can get some good information reported about you.

I would suggest you follow this proven process to rebuild your credit.

Please post your responses and follow-up messages to me on this in the comments section below.

Big Hug!

Should I Pay My Old Debts or Just Let Them Fall Off My Credit Report?   Lucas
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If you have a credit or debt question you’d like to ask just use the online form. I’m happy to help you totally for free.

Should I Pay My Old Debts or Just Let Them Fall Off My Credit Report? - Lucas by

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About Steve Rhode

Steve Rhode
Steve Rhode is the Get Out of Debt Guy and has been helping good people with bad debt problems since 1994. You can learn more about Steve, here.
  • Kylerlong

    I have some 9 years old debts.
    and I found there are 2 public records from court default judgement on my credit report,
    one sued on 2008, and one sued on 2009.
    so these 2 judgement would stick on my report for another 7 years?
    and I still received collection letters from these 2 debt buyer who sued me yesterday,
    my question is should I just walk away from this 9 years old debt?
    or make a settlement with collector , will this help to clear court judgment record  quicker.

  • Sklaehn1627

    I moved out and still owed a months rent and was laid off and couldnt pay it.That was 11 years ago I was paying 5.00 a month. Im 81. It has growed from a months rent to 1700.00 Im on ss. Do I have to pay that after all this time. I will never be able to pay it and get it paid. Ill die before its paid. Whats your answer.Thanks!

    • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

      Do you have any assets to speak of like cash in the bank of investment accounts? If not then one option is always to consider letting the creditor sue you and based on benefit income only they would not be able to garnish your income. This is what is commonly referred to as being judgment proof. You should discuss this with your local legal aid office for free help and a confirmation of this in your state.

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