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Does a Collection Agency Have to Erase a Paid Account From Your Credit?

Have you recently paid off a collection, either partially or in full, and want to know if the entry will be removed from your credit?

Unfortunately, just because you pay off a debt collection doesn’t mean it’s automatically removed from your credit report.

Rather, I generally advise that you make a written agreement prior to paying the collection agency that requires that they remove the account from your credit report on receipt of your payment.

Sadly, collection agencies often times tell people that the entry will be removed if they agree to pay it, and then once you pay, they don’t update your credit report.

That’s why it’s best to get everything in writing before you pay.

That said, you do have some options if you’ve already paid the collection agency.

Request Removal After the Fact

I’ll be honest with you, this is a long shot, but the first step should be to at least attempt to persuade the collector to remove the collection from your credit.

To do this, simply write them a letter that states that you paid the collection, and request that they remove it.

The problem is that once you pay debt collectors, they usually don’t care about your situation anymore.

Paid Vs. Unpaid Collections

The good news is that FICO, the most widely used credit scoring system, recently changed their scoring algorithm to treat paid and unpaid collections differently.

This change means that a paid collection negatively affects your credit score less than an unpaid collection. Therefore, you will get a credit score boost when you pay a collection.

The problem is that the collection is still on your credit report. It will still have a negative affect on your credit report, and it will still likely affect your ability to get approved for a loan.

Lenders will often deny people who have collections on their credit report. This is particularly true with mortgage lenders.

What Happens if I Don’t Do Anything?

You should really attempt to remove paid and unpaid collections from your credit report.

Paid and unpaid collections will remain on your credit report for 7 years from the time an account becomes a collection.

That good news is that older collections are better than newer collections when it comes to your credit score.

This obviously affects your financial situation and limits your ability to get loans. That said, there are still companies who will lend money to people with bad credit.

Here are my top picks for personal loans for people with bad credit if that’s something you’re interested in looking into.

Do You Need Help?

If you’re interested in getting some people removing an account from your credit report, I suggest you check out Lexington Law Credit Repair.

They’ll take care of you, and honestly they usually get stuff removed a lot quicker. Give them a call at 1-844-764-9809 or Check out their website.


  1. The reader would just file a simple breach of contract claim if the collection agency doesn’t remove the item. The written agreement with the collection agency would have to be signed by someone with the authority to make the agreement. As long as the agreement is specific enough on terms and is not illegal, the reader should have no problem winning the suit if the collection agency is really stupid and lets it go that far.

  2. I have paid off some old collection accounts, now the collectins agency refuses to report them as paid. What are my options?

  3. I’ve paid off some debt in collection (one of which is 7 years old) how do I go about getting them off my credit report if i’ve already paid? Can I still dispute? Can I dispute the 7 year old one b/c it’s old and it should roll of anyways.

  4. Im wondering exactly how I go about getting public records and delinquent payments of my credit report? I have a total of four items on my credit report but they are paid off. Three public records and two delinquent payments. Everything on my report is at least 3-4 years old. I have no debt and everything on my credit report that’s effecting my credit score is paid off. I got a free consultation from a lawyer that’s highly motivated to take my case, says its an easy case to get them removed, but of course wants a few for doing so. If its an “easy case” how do I go about doing it myself so I don’t have to pay a lawyer? Is it possible to do it myself?

  5. Capital one says they will not agree to a pay for deletion of my account so I told them if my money is not good enough for them I will settle or not even pay

  6. I have paid an account that I have with LJ Ross Associates and they will not remove the item from my credit report. I paid it 2 days after it showed up on my report. They did tell me up front they would not do so. I was told that it is not ethical so I’m not agreeing with collection agencies just want to get paid.

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