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Should I Try to Pay to Delete Bad Items on My Credit Report? I’m Confused. – Sunny

“Dear Steve,

I have a few delinquent accounts on my credit. They have been there for a couple of years and it is to my understanding that it will stay on my credit for 7-10 years. I am 21 years old and just now trying to establish credit for myself but these accounts are making it pretty difficult. I have gotten the run around about a such thing as pay to delete. I don’t know if this exists or not. Is there anything I can do to pay these accounts and have the debt collectors delete this from my credit? I am in desperate need for some information as to what I can do.

Is there a such thing as pay to delete? What are my options?


Dear Sunny,

Frankly I don’t understand the logic behind people that promote the whole pay to delete approach. In that strategy, they say you must insist that creditor who is reporting a factual history of delinquent payments will remove that history in return for paying off the debt.

Does it happen some times? Yes. But nearly all mainstream creditors won’t risk falsifying the credit history for your payment. Some collection companies or bad debt buyers will but they can only delete their entry, and not the entry of the original creditor.

And even then, I’ve seen so many cases of collection companies that say they will pay to delete but deny they said it once the payment is received. If you do decide to go that route, make sure you get any pay to delete agreement in writing before paying.

It is actually much easier to focus on rebuilding good credit and that’s the strategy I recommend. See How to Easily Rebuild Your Credit and Have Good Credit Again.

The old negative items are just that, old. They will carry less and less weight if you’ve paid them off in some fashion and as more time passes. At the same time concentrate on building better future credit.

When you enter into a pay to delete relationship you need to count that all your creditors will do it, unlikely, and that the account won’t get reported again in the future if the creditor changes policies.

Why worry about looking over the shoulder of your credit report. My advice, the old debt will fall off in 7 years from when it was first reported delinquent. Pay the old debt you owe if you can and have the account reflect it was paid. And focus on building better credit now which carries more weight.

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

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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.

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