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Credit Repair by Pay to Delete, is it a Good Idea to Repair My Credit?

Written by Steve Rhode


Dear Steve,

I have not managed my money wisely. Working temporary jobs in the past did not help my situations.

I am employed with a good salary but horrible credit reporting. I would like to payoff derogatory collection debt to improve my credit score. If a collection agency report is due to drop off in two years do I pursue payoff or focus on collection that are within one or two years old that will not drop off for five or more years?

Pay to Delete-is it legally since all credit have to be reported by law?



Dear Annette,

First off, there is no law that all credit hard to be reported. However the issue becomes the agreement between the credit furnisher and the credit bureau which says they can’t pay to delete.

As Experian says, “In most cases, this practice violates the creditor’s agreement to report accurate and complete information, so it is not likely that your creditor will agree to do so. If a collection agency makes such a promise, you should get it in writing. However, the same issue applies. They are obligated by law and contract to report accurate information.” – Source

Besides, there is nothing to prevent an item to be removed from a single credit report and then reappear again in a new data dump from a creditor, debt buyer, or collector. Then you also have the issue with the fact there is more than one credit bureau to deal with. And don’t even get me started about debt collectors who will say they will delete and item only to not do it once your payment arrives. Then what are you going to do? You could sue them to enforce the deal but that will almost certainly cost more than the original debt.

Credit repair vis pay to delete can be a silly way to attempt to repair your credit.

Generally the issue is less about bad credit history and more about the failure to build good credit moving forward. If your credit report is full of negative items and you remove all the negative items that doesn’t mean you get an awesome credit score.

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Building good credit is easy. Just read this and this.

You also need to consider that not all credit reporting entities will even consider a pay to delete request. As Michael Bovee from Consumer Recovery Network says, “Pay for delete is not necessarily an urban legend. But the sightings of examples of how often a debt collector will agree to take money in exchange for deleting something off of your credit reports, and put that in writing to you, is much the same as sightings of Sasquatch.”

As Michael Bovee notes, “You can resolve collection debts by paying them, or settling them for less, and that fact will get updated to your credit reports.”

Personally, I’d focus more on building new good credit lines to report on your good credit activity now and worry less about items that are five years old on your credit report. Not only will those fall off your consumer credit report in two more years but collection items that old count far less against you than the absence of a current good credit history.

For the bad debts that are newer, just paying them off and reporting them as satisfied will be a bigger help since it is a result you can count on.


You are not alone. I'm here to help. There is no need to suffer in silence. We can get through this. Tomorrow can be better than today. Don't give up.

About the author

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.

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