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Collections

How to Remove Collections From Your Credit Report



In my experience, it is possible to remove collections from your credit report.

A collection entry on your credit report, including medical collections, can severely lower your credit score and in many cases prevent you from obtaining a mortgage or auto loan.

Before we get into how to remove collections from your credit report, I want to go into detail about what a collection entry actually means, how badly it can hurt your credit score, and how long collections stay on your credit report if you don’t take any action.

What You Need to Know About Debt Collections

Debt collections come in many forms —whether it’s an old unpaid medical bill, cellphone bill, or even a library book that went unreturned.

One thing all collections have in common is they will negatively impact your ability to get credit.

Original Creditor Vs. Collection Agency

When it comes to actually collecting on a debt, generally you’ll either be contacted by the original creditor or a collection agency.

When you’re contacted by a collection agency, it’s likely an older debt that the original creditor sold to the collection agency for pennies on the dollar.

If this is the case, it could actually be good news for you because it puts you in a good position to negotiate, but we’ll go more into that in a bit.

How Does A Collection Affect Your Credit Score?

Once a debt turns into a collection and it’s logged on your credit report, you will see a significant drop in your credit score.

If you didn’t have any prior negative items on your credit report, this drop could be north of 100 points.

How much your credit score drops largely depends on how bad it was, to begin with.

In other words, a collection will have less of an impact on those who already have bad credit.

Another thing to keep in mind is that as the collection ages, it will have less of an impact on your credit score.

Paid Collection Vs. Unpaid Collection

One mistake I see people often make is thinking that paying a collection will automatically remove it from their credit report.

It’s important to keep in mind that the collection won’t be removed from your credit report even if it’s a paid collection.

Therefore, lenders will see the collection when they pull your credit report and it will likely affect their decision to lend you money.

At the very least your interest rate will go up. With this said, it’s definitely worth removing a collection from your credit report.

Also, when you have a collection, it’s likely that there are late payment entries on your credit report associated with the same debt.

This is simply because you were probably late on your payments which is what caused it to go to collections.

These entries are usually (not always) separate from the collection, and late payments can also be removed from your credit report.

How Long Does a Collection Stay on Your Credit Report?

Whether a collection is paid or unpaid, it will remain on your credit report for 7 years.

This means that for seven years it’s going to affect your ability to get auto loans, credit cards, mortgages —basically everything.

The worst part about it is even if you do get a loan, you’re going to end up paying a higher interest rate because you have bad credit.

Of course, as a collection ages, it will have less of an impact on your ability to get credit.

How Are Medical Collections Different?

Until recently, medical collections were treated the same as all other collections.

However, FICO updated its scoring in 2014 to treat medical collections differently. Medical collections now carry less weight when your credit score is calculated.

Again, this doesn’t mean a medical collection won’t affect your ability to get a loan. Lenders don’t just look at your credit score to make their loan decisions.

They usually pull your entire credit report and notice your past negative items. This, in turn, will affect your approval as well as the interest rate.

This is especially true when you’re applying for a mortgage loan.

How I Removed Collections From My Credit Report

When I was in college I got a cellphone with Sprint. The phone service didn’t work well so I switched to Verizon but forgot that I owed Sprint a payment.

Long story short, it ended up going to Sprint collections and showing up on my credit report. I went ahead and paid the collection because I thought that would also remove it from my credit report.

However, it wasn’t removed, it was just changed to “paid collection”. I followed these steps to get it removed.

1. Request a Goodwill Adjustment from the Collection Agency

The first step is to mail the collection agency a “goodwill letter”.

This is basically a letter that explains your situation, such as you want to purchase a house but can’t because of the collection on your credit report, and you’re kindly asking that they remove the collection out of goodwill.

I know this sounds like a long shot, but it works surprisingly well. The best way to write an effective goodwill letter is to use my sample goodwill letter template.

2. Dispute the Collection Using the Advanced Dispute Method

If the goodwill letter fails to get the debt collection removed from your credit report, the next thing you should try is the advanced dispute method.

For this method, you will need a current copy of your credit report. TransUnion will provide you with all your credit reports –plus they include your credit score for free.

Once you have your credit report, find the entry of the collection you want to be removed and verify every piece of information that is listed.

If you find anything that is inaccurate, note it. This method works because rather than simply disputing the entire entry, you are going to write an advanced dispute letter that lists especially what is inaccurate.

Check the following items on the collection entry for inaccuracies:

  • Balance
  • Account number
  • Date opened / Date closed (check all dates)
  • Account status (e.g., Closed)
  • Payment status (e.g., Collection)
  • Credit Limit
  • High Balance
  • Anything else that appears to be inaccurate

After you have noted the inaccuracies you found, use my advanced credit dispute letter template to write your letter.

Using this letter, you will demand that each piece of information is corrected or that the collection be removed.

This makes it more difficult for the credit agencies to verify the collection and hopefully result in them simply removing the collection altogether.

3. Demand That the Collection Agency Validate the Debt

If you’re unable to find any inaccuracies on the collection entry on your credit report, next you should write the collection agency and demand that they validate the debt.

Under section 809 of The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, collection agencies are required to validate debts they are attempting to collect if you request that they do so.

The rub here is that you only have 30 days to make the request after their initial contact. If they are unable to validate the debt, you can ask them to remove it from your credit report.

Have a Professional Remove Collections

Lastly, if you’re the type of person who would rather have a professional handle it and just be done with the whole thing, I suggest you check out Lexington Law Credit Repair or give them a call at 1-833-336-9339.

They’ll take care of you, and honestly, they usually get stuff removed a lot quicker.

How To Remove Specific Collections From Your Credit Report

Comments


  1. how to remove the collection an accounts
    has been paid 2 years ago if possible how much and howlong take a time
    I have a just one collection account
    let me know give us mail

  2. I had a hospital bill that got lost on me and went to collections. I paid the bill a little over 3 years ago knowing it would be on my credit but not knowing the full ramifications of that. I recently applied for a home loan and found that this was seriously damaging my ability to get a mortgage. I’ve been trying to find legitimate ways to get this off my credit for about a week now. I came across this article today and I have to admit I never thought of this and I honestly thought it was a bit ridiculous. I tried it anyway and the collections company contacted me today to verify my address so they could send me a letter of removal. This method may not work, particularly if the debt is recent, but the potential benefit is more than worth sucking up your pride and almost begging for some help.

  3. So, I just called The CBE Group (a collection agency) and after bypassing one person who said they couldn’t remove a collection from my credit report, I kindly asked for a supervisor. After explaining to her what happened (I moved abroad and never received the final bill or their notifications to pay), she said she’d make an exception an have it removed b/c I didn’t get their letters. So, it does work, just ask nicely and don’t give up.

    1. I can only speak in my case, but I got three liens removed from the previous state I lived in. It wasn’t easy, but if the lien is paid in full, my advice would be to contact the courthouse that originally filed the lien and ask them for a release of lien letter. Some of the courts require a letter in writing and may charge you a fee to send them to you. Once you get them, submit copies to the credit bureaus, along with a letter disputing that they should be reflected in your report and include the letters from the court. In my case, I had all of them removed because I could back up the information. Just an idea.

  4. I am in a situation where I have asked the collection agency to forgive my credit report and remove the mark if I make full payment ASAP. I was told by the woman that according to the fair credit reporting act that she cannot even legally do that? Is that true, if so I don’ t understand how I have seen so many success stories. I really do not want to make full payment until I can reach some type of agreement with them. Should I work with the original creditor to see if I can make good with them? Also, do I need to work with the original creditor regardless because the were the ones who were owed the debt if I in fact want to clear this of my record?

    I just want to get this wrapped up and also cleared up if possible. I currently have never had and still have only this mark on my credit report along with one late payment on a credit card from 6-8 years back. I would hate to see that screwed up because of this, thanks in advance for your help.

  5. My credit took a 100 point hit about 3 months ago when an unpaid bill showed up on my credit report. The collection agency had listed the original debtor to be a different collection agency…naturally I disputed this claim as an error because I don’t remember any bill from any collection agency.

    In calling the agency they said it was for a medical bill in the state I went to college in from August 2006…how can 5.5 years go by with me or my insurance never mentioning it?

    Also the current collection agency has requested information on the mysterious bill to be mailed to me. I have made two requests over 3 months and nothing has been reported back to the collection agency from the hospital — they wont tell me what hospital it is either.

    Why can’t I dispute this with some higher authority — if I don’t have information on the bill or given any opportunity to pay the bill then how do I know I’m not paying for someone else’s mistake?

  6. I have a serious question. I am dumb when it comes to hospital bills. Meaning that when u r seen, I did not realize there was a hosp bill plus separate dr bills. I was unemployed at the time and sought financial assistance with hosp. Faxed app in and never heard back or received another bill. I did receive 2 seperate dr bills and contacted the hosp back an they told me that my whole hosp file was submitted to financial assistance co and they should take care of those as well. Since then i have not received any further bills or collections or anything from the individual drs. I pulled my credit report today as my financial situation is better and gettin ready to buy another home. Mine is already up for sale. I worked for the past 3 yrs on credit report and got my score back up to above 700 from the low 500’s. The one dr bill hit my report last week without me knowing it or being notified of unpaid bills and my score dropped from 687 to 589!!! This was crushing!!! What can I do about this?? The report showed that is did go to collections but I have never received anything. I am going to try the goodwill method. But any better or quicker solution to this unfairl reporting?? And IF I am successful in gettin it removed will they return my score to where it was and it not how long will it take to get my score back up?? This has hurt my family very bad as we thought we had been doing the right things an paying everything on time. Plus, we r on the home stretch of selling house and needing another place to live an afraid we can not even get a loan bow with a 589 score and if so, we wud not be able to afford the pmts.

    Also, in cases of true errors like a bad acct hitting ur report that does not belong to u and it lowers ur score, will they return ur score to where it was prior to the bad reporting?

    Thanks for your help. This site has been very insightful!!

  7. Ok, So I have gained 100+ points by disputing the bad things on my credit. Every year I run my free report and dipute new things. This year I am working on asking nicely for the things that were not removed last year to be removed. I also recommend you downloading the FAIR CREDIT REPORTING ACT so you know your rights. As well as the FAIR DEBT COLLECTING ACT. These are easy to find documents just google them.

  8. I think I am in a unique situation so let me attempt to explain (hopefully you can help).

    I have an ongoing collection (Best Buy card) that my father had put into my name (has happened many times before) of course that being said I cannot dispute it as not being my account due to him putting it into my name. I could say it is fraud but here is the issue, my father passed away a couple years ago.

    I have reached the point where I just want to go ahead and pay it off but I would also like it completely removed from my credit history (like it never happened), is that even possible?

      1. Explain me please,what do you mean:”get everything in writing” ? It means I should ask them to send me a notes that I paid completely and they will remove all bad marks from my credit history,it that correct?

  9. This works, I had stupid collection of 1500$ from Verizon (they didn’t worn that we are approaching Internet limit for a month not by phone nor by email). After discussions I found that my account is in collection agency. I paid the balance off and kindly asked them (written) to remove the collection from credit report. It took some time and the collection desapared boosted my score. Thanks for advice

    1. Thanks for this comment. I paid a VZW bill that my brother had in my name. It is still on my report but I would like to get it off. Your post gives me hope 🙂

  10. Hi,

    I recently had an account with Sprint Mobile. The bill was in dispute. I kept telling Sprint the balance was wrong, they fixed the balance several times, Sprint said they would call me with updates, they never did. I had to keep calling them. One day I get a letter from a collections company on behalf of Sprint. I called Sprint and finally squared the balance out and paid it off with Sprint, not the collection company. I never had any contact with the collection company nor did I know Sprint was going to send my account to a collection company. I checked my credit reports; this POS collections company hit all 3 credit reporting companies and marked my report as “collections” when in fact I never dealt with them. I paid Sprint after we finally found out what the real balance was. Now, legally, how can this collection company hit my report when in fact I never even dealt with them nor did I pay them, I paid Sprint. This has got to be illegal since they had nothing to do with any type of collections with me, they never even called me nor did I speak to them on the phone. How do I get this false listing removed? Thank you

  11. I recently canceled my AT&T U-verse services and the last payment got lost on me and sent to collections. I wrote a letter to the collection agency with a full payment check telling them that by cashing the check they were agreeing to remove the item from my credit report. I told them that not reporting it accurately would result in action from my attorney.

    They wanted the money so it worked like a charm. I think it also helped that I threatened them with “my attorney”. (I work for a law firm that specializes in consumer protection and bankruptcy so I know what they want to deal with and what they don’t).

    Sam, you should also write a letter to all three credit reporting agencies saying that you dispute the debt. If the collections company cannot verify the debt than the reporting agencies will remove it from your report. I would send letters every week until it is removed. The collections agency has to validate the debt every time you send letters – if they miss even one time or cannot validate it the reporting agencies will remove the debt. (I am not allowed to give legal advice but this is something we tell our clients – so you may want to call an attorney to ask – most usually allow an initial phone conversation free of charge).

  12. Hi,
    So I wrote a goodwill letter to the creditor of an apartment I had to break my lease with. I paid the balance in full, but when I called to see what the status was of the letter, they told me it’s out of their hands now. All they could do is send me a letter stating that the account had been paid in full. Where do I go from here?

  13. I recently moved out of my apartment. Management told me if I left by a certain date, they would just bill me the balance. I never received anything from them. No call or bill. After trying to contact them numerous times over the last two months, I finally got in touch with the property manager. I asked her where was the bill and why she hasn’t retuned any calls. Long story short, she sent my account to a collection agency. The fees arent anywhere in the lesasaThe balance and charges are9incorrect and showing up in my rental history.

  14. One collection agency keeps hitting my credit score every 3 months since March 2013. This was actually defaulted back in 2010. I received a letter in end of Feb 2013, that the case has been handed over to this new agency (RMCB). I already explained to the bank and the first agency the reason for not paying the bill and had a credit hit in 2010. So I just ignored it.

    Recently, I realized after pulling credit report this RMCB is hitting my credit score every 3 months. Is it legal and correct? For the bill, it was already reported to credit bureaus in 2010, why are they coming back and hitting again and again? Please suggest.

  15. Hi Ryan.
    Can you help.a company approached me 3 years ago and said that they can remove a credit card as long as i owed more than 1500.so i allowed them to do it even though i was real unsure of what it was they could do.it turned out that they were going to make it unenforcable.it worked and the company have not looked for payment in 2and half years.but i cant get it removed from my credit file.i wrote to experian saying it was unenforcable and they said that the mbna company i had the card with have to agree before the could write it off.i sent avletter to mbna the same time imforming them that it was enenforcable.and it was over 3.5 years since asking them for my original consent..but they wrote back saying if we find the original consent then we can come after you for payment .so is it posdible to remove this ..i need to leave my pob and relocate due to violence i also suffer mental health and this will affect me getting accomadation.can you help please.thanks .sally.

  16. Hi. I have a question. I have a 60 day late notice for a creditor on my credit reports. I am currently trying to purchase a home and need them removed. I called and they said “it is illegal for them to alter my credit report”. Is this true? What else can I do to get this negative item removed?

    1. Hi,
      I work for a credit agency and its never illegal for them to removed any negative information from your credit report. Right now is a good time to ask the creditor if they take a settlement they will remove it from your credit. Its tax time now and a lot of them doing it.

  17. Hi Ryan. I rented a car recently. While in my possession, minor damage was incurred (the driver’s door handle was broken, presumably by the opening of the door of a car parked next to me). Upon returning the vehicle, the door handle damage was noted and I acknowledged responsibility. A month later, I received a claim from the rental company for damage to the handle and also damages that did not occur while the vehicle was in my possesion. I have not had success after repeateded attempts to dispute the additional damage. I will pay for the handle, but not the other damage. As this may end up going tpo a collection agency, is there any preemtive action I can take? Thanks!

    1. How much are the damages? If it’s not much, it might be a smarter move financially just to pay it. I know there are principles involved, but sometimes you have to step back and look at the big picture. A collection on your credit report is not a fun thing to deal with.

  18. I have a serious problem. I decided in November of 2012 to file bankruptcy myself. Well after filing all my paperwork and taking the first bankruptcy filing class, all was well. At my meeting of creditors a situation came up that pro longed my filing. Well in that time I did not take the second class. So my bankruptcy was dismissed without discharge. I than decided not to do it myself and file through a lawyer which was done in discharged. Now both bankruptcy shows on my credit report as if I filed in November of 2012 and September of 2013. How do I get the bankruptcy off that was dismissed but not discharged.

  19. I had a roommate who didn’t contribute to paying the money owed our shared apartment upon moving out. We let the money sit, and within a few months this debt got bought out by a collections agency. As soon as I saw the hit to my credit score, I paid in full to the agency. Because of my rush, I didn’t negotiate anything with them, simply paid it off. Now, I see that I can even get it removed? It looks like that it is up to the agency – goodwill letter implies they do it out of kindness, not law – so is that all I have going for me at this point? I have called them multiple times and I get a different response each time. Legally can’t remove it, it’s up to the credit reporter, etc., etc. Is this hogwash? I paid it off, so I realize that it will show as paid in full on the next running of the report, but I also want the negative hit taken off as well.

    Thanks

  20. I have an hospital bill which is due and have applied for financial assistance. The hospital has it under review and says my account is on hold. I got a call from the debt collector today for the claims from hospital. I told the collector that i have a requested a financial assistance at the hospital and they politely told that they would let the hospital know( take a note of it). Again i checked with hospital same day, says the account is still on hold and they do not usually send it out to collection while on hold. What would be my best scenario. Do I need to wait or pay the hospital. Does a call from debt agency imply that my credit has been hit? Or I do have some time?

    1. Hi,
      To answer your question your credit can be hit if the collection agency didn’t mark it correctly. If you call the collection agency they can tell you if it been hit or not. I work for a collection agency that handle hospital bills and we can see the day we put it on there. If they tell you they can’t they are lying.

  21. Not yet, had called the collection agency and the hospital to make sure they are on the right boat…so far they say will wait to hear for the process to complete. Will update the status as soon as I know. thanks

  22. I’m beginning my journey to negotiate things off of my credit report. I started the offer at 25% of the debt (which is really what I can afford), what happens if they do not respond to my offer?

    Thank you,

  23. I used this tip to good will letter and call and voila! I spoke to an agent who refused to budge on their policy of only marking as paid in full and not removing a collection. I was in an accident at the fault of the other driver. My personal injury lawyer missed one medical bill during negotiations to close out the claim and then finally paid it out. I asked to speak with a supervisor and explained the problem and he said that he would make and exception as all my story checked out and he is processing it for removal! Thank you so much,

    Taylor

  24. I have a situation where I have 2 separate hospital bills that went to collections. I’ve reached out to the collections bureaus to try and settle the account but they don’t want to settle on a lower amount. They are only willing to make a payment plan with me to pay off the debt. They claimed that they no longer settle medical bills for any reduced amounts. Is there ANY way to get them to reduce the debt?? PLEASE HELPPPP!!!!!

  25. What can I legally do to a debt collector who actually reported someone elses debt to the credit bureaus as mine? It couldn’t have come at a worse time as well. My wife and I were trying to buy a house. But, since my score had dropped over 100 points, because of their error, we were denied the loan. Thanks for any input. Tim

  26. So, here’s my question: can debt collectors continue reporting late payments for time barred debt? More than anything, that seems to be what is killing my credit right now. Some old debt that is due to drop off my credit report later this year keeps receiving late payment reports. Anything I can do with this? I really don’t want to contact the credit agency at this point as I don’t want to accidentally reset the statute of limitations on the debt.

  27. hello,
    need some advise. we recently moved and national grid placed a collection on our report for me (gas) and my husband (electric) i was never notified of any furth billing and now i need to remortage and its showing up on my report. what can i do

  28. ok so this does sounds bad but I have 19 missed payments over 5 years on my mortgage. Is there anyway to have these removed? I have paid on time for a year now. I also have an old car loan that was completely paid off early but with a divorce I got behind and missed 11 payments. Is there any help for this situation?

  29. i Have a citibank student loan that did not get consolidated because it was private not federal. It has since been charged off and sent to a collection agency, that agency is not a reporting agency, but the original citibank charge off is killing my score. Do i ask for the paid delete from citibank or the collection agency?

  30. Hello,
    I had used my name to get an apartment for my kids father over 10 years ago. He broke lease or got evicted and it has been on my credit report. My question is why it still has not been removed since its been over 7 years? It is only in one of the credit bureaus and not the other two. And I noticed that it stated that the date on the credit report was updated to 2011, when that is totally incorrect. Aren’t the collection agency supposed to provide the original delinquency date from the first delinquency? The collection agency keeps updating the date that is why its still in my credit report. How could I dispute this? My only proof of it being over 10 years is that I had bought a house in 2006 and lived there for 6 years. And have been living somewhere else now for another 3 years. So there is no way that the original date of first delinquency is 2011. Please help!

  31. Hi, my name is Sabrina. I’m from Wisconsin. I became a home owner in October 2014, prior to October 2014 my fiance and I rented a townhouse. When we vacated the rental, we left a forwarding address with the building manager and had given it to the landlord as well. Along with this landlord already had both our phone numbers; and we also put a change of address in with the Post Office, which is still forwarding mail to us to this present date. My point of all this is, The landlord told us it wasn’t clean enough when we left and was going to be sending us an itemized bill. We waited and never received nothing. March 7th 2015 rolled around, and we received mail from Mutual Management, A collection agency for a large bill. So, I sent a debt validation letter to the collection agency. Now, in June 2015 I obtained a copy of my credit reports, and There is a collections account reported on my credit. How is this possible? The landlord never gave us an amount to pay and went straight to placing into collections after 5 months. HOW do I get this removed from my credit? I was told by lawyer that she was required to bill us/send us bill within 30 days; which she never did. Now my credit score dropped 60 points, after I’ve been working this long to keep my credit in good standing.

    1. Just type a letter saying that the account was satisfied and sign it in the old landlords name! Fax it to the credit reporting agencies and they will remove it. Just like that! The landlord won’t know plus nobody will check to see if anything is paid anyway! Solo many people are doing this! It absolutely works like a charm! Evictions too! Works every single time!! Good luck!

    2. Hi Sabrina, I’m in the exact same situation, I’m from Wisconsin too. Did find a way to work it out? BTW, my property company is Katz Properties, I never received a bill and then suddenly get the mail from a collection agency.

    3. I am trying to move to Cleveland ohio and i am in bankruptcy and steadily finding stuff on my credit how is that possible i only want to rent a single family home what shou

  32. I applied for a 13 with my ex in 2009. We converted to a chapter 7 in 2010. My ex got a discharge in 2011. I got a dismissal because of the date. The 7 date was 2009—not 2010 when we converted. That was too close to my last chapter 7 in 2002. Our lawyer should have stopped the 13 and filed a new chapter 7 with a new filing date.

    Now I am trying to buy a home. My score is 10 points from 620/traditional. I see the credit agencies put discharge, not dismissal on my reports. Do I tell them to fix it? Will this kill my score and my chance of a home loan?

  33. So I disputed a collection a few weeks ago and now it has been removed from my credit report when will it show back up?

  34. Hi,
    I am trying to clean up my credit report and have some small medical bills that have gone to collections over the course of a few years. Do I try and get the original drs to remove or it’s up to the collections agency at this point? if I paid a collection on a cell phone is there any chance they will remove after the fact?
    Thanks for your help!

    1. If you’ve already paid it over the phone, you probably won’t be able to get it removed. It’s always best to pay the debt only after the collection agency has agreed to remove it from your credit report in exchange.

  35. Hi Ryan, I recently just paid 2 unemployment over payment liens, and recently received the Notice of satisfaction from the state. What are the steps on requesting the lien’s to be removed from my credit? Thanks

  36. About 3 years ago I paid all my credit cards off to buy a home. Now I have enough money saved for the down payment. The mortgage broker told me that there was a collection from a debit collection Co. For Walmart card which was one the credit cards that I paid in full. The funny part is that when paid it off the bill was under $2000.00 now it’s on my report for over $5000.00. So this is bring down my score. I understand there are fees and intrest but thats more than double in 2 years. Another thing this hasn’t been on my report until I stated looking for a mortgage. How can I get this fixed. I just want to take them to court. What form or forms would I need to start the process?

  37. I have a Sprint bill that has been sent to collections and is now showing on my credit report (dropped my credit score significantly.) It started when I switched from sprint to another carrier-this broke the contract and they sent me a “final” bill. I never received notification that the bill was going to collections. I have doubled and triple checked to be sure that I did not miss a piece of mail somewhere along the way. This is all fairly recent as the final bill was sent no more than 2.5 months ago. Long story short, I was denied an auto loan due to this and I really need to get this off my credit report. Step by step what should I do? Good will letter first to the collection agency, and then a pay for deletion if that does not work? I am willing to pay, just need some guidance on the best sequence of action. Thanks!!

    1. Rachel, did you have any luck with resolving this issue? I have an almost exact scenario and am curious if it worked out. Thanks.

    2. Same thing happened to me. I never signed or agreed to any contract when I got Sprint service. The store manager said they had an employee sign peoples names to their agreement to the exorbitant early termination fees. Now they sent it to collections, the agency won’t validate it or show me where I agreed to pay the amount they are billing for… I want to know what to do now…

    3. Contact the collection company and see if they agree on a pay off settlement. make sure they agree to remove it from your credit report upon payment. It usually takes 30 days for them to remove it.

  38. I have several things on my credit, a few medical, 2 credit cards and a car loan that had to go back do to going into the hospital. I want to pay what I can off which would be 3 or 4 out of 7. Should I use a professional to take care of what I can? If they are removed will my credit get boosted ?

  39. hi i have a late payment sprint bill so im in collection some one have the number or where i can call for pay the pill?

  40. My husband has a few things on his reports. They are loans we had when we were stationed overseas. He was medically discharged but the items went into collections because we were unable to pay them anymore. Is there any way to get these removed? He had perfect credit until this happened. We would like to buy a house and are back on our feet but his score is keeping us from obtaining his VA loan. What would you suggest?

    1. Hi CR Smith,
      Why did the VA not cover your husbands medical bills if he was medically discharged? Have you contacted the VA about this? If he is still entitled to VA benefits, those bills should’ve been paid….by THEM.

  41. Hi Ryan,

    We are currently in the same exact situation with Sprint and are in the process of buying a home, we need this issue resolved like yesterday, how long did it take for Spring to remove the collection?

      1. I am in a similar situation as you but my was with comcast. I paid the collection without an agreement and bam credit down 60 points. I am just wondering which of your methods actually worked in your situation. I am starting with the goodwill letter.
        PS
        I was wondering have anyone ever tried to negotiate with the collection agency a second time for removal?

  42. Ryan, I need your advice. I have very very poor credit. I am 55 years old and have had bad credit for decades now. And I do notice even my “write offs” still are on my credit report. How can I get the creditors to drop my old charges that I would never be able to pay? How can I get the negatives and judgements off my credit report so that I can up my score and not have the stress in these later years of my life? I just have very poor credit and lots of judgements and negatives and would like to make them disappear but how do I even start to do this????

  43. Hi. I recently paid off a collection. I have a pay for deletion letter from the collection agency. It’s been over 30 days. How long does it take to come off my report? Also, another collection agency refused my pay for deletion offer and said they can only update my status as paid. What can I do?

    1. Hi Jessica,

      I currently have the same exact issue… I was wondering how did you resolve your situation?

      Thanks for any advice.

  44. I paid off a 2nd mortgage 6 years ago through a short sale house was in CA and just found out the original bank/credit union was sold and they have sold the info to a collection company for a loan they accepted a short payoff on I sent the collection co the final closing statement and they said they will work with the back to make sure it was paid so it can be removed from my credit report if they don’t how can I get it removed cause it was paid in a short sale.

  45. I keep paying off debts that are on my credit report then 6 months later that same paid debt shows up after another debt collector buys it. It’s all a giant scam the credit reporting companies are loyal to the debt collectors and business because that’s how they make money. They say you can dispute it which is another scam all the reporting agency does is ask the debt collector who is usually a criminal if it is valid and if the collector replies yes with 30 days we’ll that’s good enough. Why can a company put information about you that harms you without a shred of evidence. Most people think if they dispute the debt that the collector must provide proof i.e. A signed agreement or something they don’t have to provide anything. Then they say take them to court. That’s crazy like people are going to spend thousands of dollars to remove a account that’s one or two hundred. It should be illegal to put negative information about anyone without evidence. Let’s face it it’s a crooked system. Run by crooks. There are people in jail who have done much less to hurt people but it’s a rigged system bought and sold by white collar criminals.

  46. Ryan

    Is there anyway I can get inquires removed from my credit report. There is like 47 of them and maybe 10 are soft. I run a business…LLC AND THESE PEOPLE TAKE A LIBERTY AT CHECKING MY CREDIT OFTEN. NOT WITH MY PERMISSION. Can I demand the credit reporting agencies to remove them if I did not request? Let me know.
    Thanks. Ronnie

  47. Ryan,

    I just got a recent collections for an older cell phone bill that I thought was paid off by the new carrier when we switched to them. Can I call the old carrier, pay then directly, then dispute the collection by demanding the agency validate the debt? I assume when they validate it, if I have paid it off directly with the old carrier, the debt won’t be valid and have to be removed from my report?

  48. Hello, im having serious issues with my credit score. Its being affected by a old liability that i only had for less than 1year. I bought from a private owner my first vehicle and register it under my name shortly after i was contacted by an investigator and was told this item was sold illegally to me and perhaps never be mine. Years have passed an a towing company for is charging fees which i believe is for this car. All this time i had believed the investigation was close and car taken but it seems like that didnt happen. Dmv doesnt have record of me having this car. I do not have anything regarding this car and the investigation department in my city was unable to pull out the record either. How can i fix this. Need advise asap ????????????????

  49. Hi
    Last year one of my credit card changed their bank . I did not know they did. I did not recieve any letter or anything. I had auto pay set up for old account. 3 months later i recieved the statemwnt with interest on the amount. I called them n they told me no auto payment now on. So i paid it that time. Now i see a late patment on my account. Thats the only 1. I would never late any of my payment if I knew they have changed bank n auto pay is not in place. It was a childrens place card

  50. I have 3 reports on my credit score that I’m planning on paying off in full, within the next 2 months. However, I’ve been hearing so many different responses about paying them all off, may do no good and potentially reopen another 7 years. 2 of my reports have 3 years to come off and the other has 4, would it be better if I left them to come off, once expired or paying them off, could indeed bring my credit score back up and remove them from my credit report sooner?

  51. Hi there, I had a collection from AT&T on my credit report for $1,100 which is completely inaccurate, they were charging me for every line that I’ve ever had since I’ve been with them. I disputed it with TransUnion. I won the dispute & they sold the collection to another company and now it’s on my credit report again how do I get this off permanently?

      1. What do you do if there is no validation of debt or they do not respond and then another company also is asking for the same money? This is just a vicious cycle. Then the next month they add it back etc. I think people want to know how do we get the credit agencies to permanently remove these things and not allow them back. Some of these debts go from debt agency to debt agency for years and years. I have one item which is not even mine for 14 years going around my report from one collection company to the next to the next. I have one debt listed 5 times on my report by different agencies. How do we stop this?

  52. Hello,
    What is the best way that you know of to have a charge-off removed? Deal with the Collection agency or the Original creditor? Thank you in advance

  53. My question is what do you do you when two separate collection agency are trying to collect a debt with each one reporting to separate credit bureaus. … I have never received anything in the mail from either one

  54. Hello, In reviewing my credit score there are a number of items in collections Active status. The problem I have with this is I have never been to the places that have sent me to the collections agency listed on my report. The agency is the same for all 5 items. I did a dispute with Experian but this didn’t get my anywhere. I don’t want to have to pay for someone else getting ahold o my information and for bills that aren’t mine. The total of what is in collections is almost $1,000. worth of bills I didn’t make.

    Any help would be appreciated.
    Karen M

  55. I too have a collection on my credit report from Sprint. This is totally inaccurate as I did not break a contract with them and I have called them to dispute to no avail. I also explained that if I did indeed owe a large fee why would they allow my phone number be ported over to the new carrier who in fact was their sister company Virgin Mobile..what can I do I want it removed asap…!!!!

  56. I have old medical bills on my credit report but they have no account numbers and other information that I don’t know. How do I dispute them. My fiancee has stuff on his credit report from 1984 but we can’t get them removed. What can we do to stop this.

  57. I have a question regarding medical debt. First of all 2010 was a bad year I lost my job after I had a medical crisis that left me hospitalized for 3 weeks. My husband at the time thought that was a good time to file for divorce so he cleared out our joint account and had papers served. The judge then awarded him with everything. The cars, our house, hell, he tried to make me give my ex the furniture my grandfather have given me. My exs lawyer had to tell the judge that that was legally my personal property. Meanwhile since my health continued to fail I ended up moving in my my mother. I applied for disability and was told I had a wait period of two years, I continued to go to the doctors without insurance. I applied for Medicaid being told that they take care of back debt once approved. I lived for two years with 12 dollars in my bank account. Needless to say I was never approved for Medicaid, so now I owe 15,000 in Medical debt that’s in collection that I can’t pay. My Ssd is less then that a year. I contacted one hospital with the biggest bill and was told that they actually did have income based repayment. But I had to make the deadline. I failed to do that the first time because I didn’t have all my paperwork (the government takes there own time) the second because I was again hospitalized. Now they are telling me in order for me to be able to reapply I have to refresh the account by going to there ER. I can’t do this because it’s a different state. Should I just let it drop off my credit and forget about it. It not like I am suddenly going want to buy a house and bought my used in cash. I can currently afford my rent and food but not much else.

  58. I paid off my hospital bills from the collection agency that the hospital sent me to and the collection refuse to remove from credit. I am trying to get a house. I have call the collection agency and they said that they don’t remove it, so what do i do. It paid off and i want this collection remove.

  59. I have Been watching my credit trying to get it cleaned up and in Aug something was dropped from collections from a cable company that was from about 5-6 yrs ago my score has raised almost 45 points since Aug. I was checking it today thinking it would jump up again because I knew everything has been current for the last 6 months and doing really well keeping things current I checked it today and it has dropped so low I am In the poor again almost starting over again everything else is good and current and has been for months. And all of a sudden a new collections company has taken over this account. This is the only thing that is different from my report 15 days ago… I don’t even remember the day this originally went to collections with this cable company! I’m afraid to dispute it I have heard if I fight It then the 7 yrs starts over ? If I cant Remember when it was then I dont Have a clue the account number or anything. I am Needing to get a new car loan and at this point will have no way of getting a loan with this just hitting my credit

  60. I have a couple collection accounts that I want to get removed. Should I try a pay for delete or goodwill letter for them. I was going through a divorce and lost track of certain bills/paper work. Also, I have completed a student loan rehabilitation on my six student loans that went into default. I have since been making on time payments with the new provider but the old loans still remain as closed/transferred with the negative payment history on them. Shouldn’t they be deleted since the same loans are now with a new loan provider? It is essentially duplicated reporting them, right? I am planning on getting married in a couple years and want to buy a house with my current boyfriend and with this stuff on my report I fear I won’t be able to do this. Thank you for your help.

  61. I have to accounts showing in collections on my credit report. Both are paid. So I am too late to request a “pay to delete”. I called the collection agency and they stated that they do not delete. DO I have any other options at this point?

  62. Back in December 2017 I sent verification letters to 4 different collection agencies asking to verify my accounts. (All medical bills) Three collection companies verified within 30 days…….. One collection company responded in February 2018, stating that the account has been closed with their agency . And if the account has been reported to a credit reporting agency, they will submit a request for the to account to be deleted…Should I contact TU & Equifax ?

  63. Hi i have a question, I have two thing unpaid on my credit report I am trying to fix before i establish a loan for a morgage. I am trying ro figure out the best way to go about paying and having them removed one is sprint sent out to a collector and one is National grid. I PAID IN FULL AMAZON TO COLLECTOR PORTFOLIO. THEN STARTED LOOKING INTO THINGS AND WAS UNSURE IF I MADE THE RIGHT DECISION AS TO NOW IT MAY NOT BE DELETED OFF MY CREDIT SCORE. Question is now the next step.

  64. Hi- I am at my witts end. I have numerous collections on my account, most for companies that I never did business with. There are also several different collection agencies updating monthly for the same debt on all 3 agencies reports and this is killing my score (below 500). I worked very hard over the years to establish good credit and then BAM this started. I defaulted on 1 loan after I became sick but since paid it and that is it. I have tried NUMEROUS times to dispute these items on my credit report and a few times they were removed but popped back up the next month but most I just get a response from the credit agency that the debt has been verified. How could this be possible when I never even got a letter from any of those collection agencies to begin with? I wrote to most of them, never hearing back. What can I do? I am unable to get a loan or credit card or anything and I pay everything on time. How do i get these things off my report and stop them from popping up each month? Why is it so easy for a company to report bogus stuff but impossible for us to get it removed? This is destroying our life and preventing us from purchasing our first home. We are not kids but 40 something adults who are at a loss and devastated with what these companies are doing to our lives. HELP PLEASE!

  65. Hello, so in 2016 my husband and i signed a contract to lease an apartment. Two months into the contract I went onto bed-rest from orders from my doctor for a medical condition. I was rendered unable to work and therefore we told the apartment complex that we would have to break our lease due to a medical reason. They proceeded to notify us that we would have to pay three months worth of rent to break the lease, of course with me being out of work due to a medical condition, we couldn’t pay the additional rent that they wanted. We did however satisfy the debt that we owed for the month that we were actually there. Is there a way for me to fight this and get it removed from my credit because of medical reasons, I can supply a copy of the doctors letter as well.

  66. Hi there-

    I just pulled my credit reports to review since I have ID Theft and I see that I have two collection accounts from what look like old medical bills. I’ve called both collection agencies and they will not supply me any information other than I owe the debt. One account looks to be 6 years old and another 3 years old (at least that’s what it looks like). Any idea how I can get these off my credit? Thank you in advance.

  67. Hello. For the goodwill letter you stated we should write to the original creditor? My issue is also a late payment with Sprint, but they sold to a collection agency and I paid the collection agency. So, it is the collection agency that is listed on my credit report. Would I write to Sprint or the collection agency asking for goodwill?

  68. Hi, I have some items on my credit report that have been both charged off and in collections. My question is: Is it ok for the collection company to put a different opening, closing or charge off date on the account from the original creditor?
    Example: original account opened September 2015, closed/charged off June 2016
    Collection company opened August 2017 updated July 2018
    I know this is not an older debt, this is just the first one I came to in my credit report.

    I even have an account that is listed by the original creditor SYNCB/J C Penny as opened May 2011, Closed June 2011, Updated February 2018 current; paid or paying as agreed. Balance zero charged off June 2011. SYNCB/ J C PENNY listed as Opened May 2011, Closed June 2012 Updated August 2013. Both transactions have different account #’s and I only had one account with the company.

    How do I fix stuff like this.
    Thank you for your help and your website

  69. Hello Mr Greeley,
    Thank for the article!
    From reading this article and a handful of other similar articles, I’m slowly understanding that I might’ve shot myself in the foot by NOT negotiating w/ the collection agencies from removing me from the noty list.
    Current situation: just paid off a +$8k car loan that went to collections in 2014 NOT knowing I was able to negotiate such deals. Now the company won’t get my name off.
    Prognosis: will be using your 3-step approach. Furthermore, what’s the “609” approach?

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Meet the expert

Ryan Greeley

Credit Expert & Editor-In-Chief of BetterCreditBlog.org, where he oversees publishing and content creation. In addition, Ryan has written about credit extensively over the past 10 years for publications such as Lifehacker, BuzzFeed, and The Huffington Post.

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