The Credit Report is Not Showing The Debts That I Settled. – Sara


“Dear Steve,

My husband got very sick several years ago before we were married and during the time he was unable to manage anything his car was repossessed and he did not make payments on his credit cards and other loans.

A year ago we got enough money together to pay and/or settle all of his debts. Some with the original creditors and some with collections agencies. I am trying to help him improve his credit score so that maybe we can buy a house.

Right now on his credit report there are a couple of collections agencies that I don’t recognize reporting small “amount past due”s as reported in 2006 AND some of his major debts are still showing as having amounts past due even though the account statuses are paid/transferred/settled (respectively) with notes that these balances are charge off amounts.

Is there anything we can do about either/both of these situations to improve his credit? Or is it just a matter of time?


Dear Sara,

Wow, thank you for writing. This is a situation that needs some attention before you get surprised latter on.

When you settle debts it is not unusual for a creditor to come back ten years latter and say “We don’t have any record of that.” So the fact that some accounts have not been properly updated on the credit report makes me worry.

Make sure you keep all your records about the settlements for the next several decades. Specifically you want some documentation that shows the account was considered paid or satisfied by the creditors.

Make sure that you are looking at a three bureau consolidated credit report to see the full information that is being reported across all three credit bureaus. They don’t report the same information.

Next, for any account that you settled that is not showing as paid or settled, you MUST dispute that information with the individual credit bureaus listing it. If that information is not correct then it must be updated to be accurate.

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When a debt is settled it is typically divided up on the credit report to show the amount of the settlement as paid and the amount of debt forgiven as uncollectible. That negative credit half of the settled debt will remain on the credit report for seven years.


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.

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