I Paid for Credit Repair. Was That and Trying to Do ‘Pay to Delete’ a Smart Thing to Do? – Tiffany

“Dear Steve,

ONE year ago in march I paid a credit repair person over $500.00, they were recommended by a mortgage lender I saw. He told me it would take 4 to 6 months and my score will be were I needed it to be. Totally hasn’t been the case.

I spoke with the manager of the company who knew this person directly. She was so convincing. I asked her if I should just start paying on my negative accounts. She advised me not to. That by paying old debt it would lower my score instead of increasing it. She told me her company would have these items deleted, the credit bureaus would send me a report and I fax it to her staff. I’ve done all she has told me to do. It has been nine months two of my fico scores or a little above 500 and one in the mid 500’s.

I have tried to reach the person who referred me for 2 months now he do esn’t return my calls nor my emails. I’m so sick and tired, of being sick and tired. I’ve made major mistakes in my earlier days, bad relationships and now I’m trying to make it right, I’m 33.

I met with another lender a few weeks ago and she pulled my credit when I told her the above she was upset as well. She told me that I needed to pay off these collections. She told me to contact the credit repair person and tell her that I have spoken with a credit expert that advise me her company wasn’t doing the job they said they would.

She told me that they probably wouldn’t refund my money, but let them know I know they didn’t do what they stated. I have two credit cards, one a retail store and the other major credit card both with low balances. I am in good standings and have a car loan but that will be paid off in a few months. This new lender advised me to call these collection agencies try talking with them, telling then my situation. She said to make your situation known to them but not to make them aware you’re trying to get a loan because they will know they have you. If I can’t get any where with them just hang up and send them a pay and delete letter.

She said some will agree and some not, which AFNI is the worst but I’m not giving up. She has advised me to pay them but first ask them to send me in writing that they will remove/delete upon payment or update as PAID in full. She advised me not to settle, pay it out. I’ve read that paying a collection in full is better than settlement or paying installments.

What about charge off’s, do I pay these also? I’ve read about the statue of limitations, if it’s based on the last reported some are as current as last month. There are a few items this company is disputing but most are medical bills, few are telephone bills. I was advised to go ahead and pay the telephone bills because they are not going to be deleted. Most likely the collection agency will update it as paid in full. I’m thinking about sending the president of the collection agency a letter requesting he authorize a pay and delete.

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I’m not sure what to do, everyone has something different. I just need to take care of this matter ASAP and I can’t wait another year. Most sites I’ve been on stated that if old collections or charge off’s are paid it will take about 2 to 3 months before it shows affect to your score. This new lender gave me examples of people she was working with that had paid off old debt and their score increased. So I guess it all depends on the situation. That’s fine, I just need to make progress, it’s seems to be a little late but I need to do it own my own.

The collections are small collections, I have one charge off from a bank for $1100.00 and one for a gym membership for $800.00 those are the biggest ones. Steve I know this is long and indepth but I needed you to know from start to finish. Please help me.

The Isaac act states that paying old debt shouldn’t hurt your credit score, it may not actually help either. It willl show lenders that I am credit worthiness, I think. HELP Steve-Tiffany

What is the correct way to repair your credit? Is it true that paying old debt and collection agencies will lower your score more? If a collection agency doesn’t agree to a pay and delete but states they will update the account as paid in full, is this ok? (no settlement amounts) Is it ok to write a personal letter of pay and delete to the president of the collection agency if you can’t get anywhere with their csr reps? Should I just go ahead and start paying the collection agencies? A few have already sent me letters of notificationn that they will update account as paid in full and delete. Please advise


Dear Tiffany,

Ultimately I think the problem here is you’ve wasted valuable time and money trying to game the system. Instead, let’s just focus on getting things back into a responsible position.

It is a fact that you say you owe these debts, for whatever reason you were unable to pay them, and you were in collections. If your credit report showed these debts, they were in collections, but they were now paid, that would be a true and accurate statement.

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Your credit report isn’t a document that you get to pick and choose what is on it. It’s like a report card in school. If you got a D in a class, that impacts your grade point average but taking the class over again doesn’t remove the D.

Do You Have a Question You'd Like Help With? Contact Debt Coach Damon Day. Click here to reach Damon.

The strategy you are trying has a couple of major flaws. The first is that if you do have true and accurate items removed from your credit report and you subsequently apply for credit using the ‘forged’ report you are committing credit fraud. That can have some serious implications.

Second, just because an item was tricked into being removed does not mean it will stay removed. Often times these items just appear again when the creditor dumps the data back to the credit bureau again.

Third, it is against the merchant agreement with the credit bureau to remove accurate information from the credit report. Some places will say they will do it but it is mostly just a trick to get you to pay the debt.

Fourth, the whole ‘pay to delete’ strategy is just not a realistic way to deal with accurate but negatively reported debt.

I personally think you are a lot better off at this point having a copy of your consolidated credit report in your hand that shows all three credit bureaus and contact information for your open debts. Use the debt snowball approach and just knock out the old debt. At the same time concentrate on rebuilding new good credit using secured cards, if you don’t have any credit cards. You can follow my easy credit repair process. Follow the credit repair link.

The goal should be to make sure you can show proof that you can get and handle a credit card so your credit history has some new good information to score you on as well.

Damon Day - Pro Debt Coach

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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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