My TransUnion is 497, and Equifax is 469. I couldn't remember the information they needed to verify my identity online for the third credit agency.

The only things on the reports are 5 things on there totaling about $2000.

If I call today and ask them to remove them from the credit reports in exchange for immediate full payment (I've heard they do that sort of thing. Not sure how hard it is to convince them), how much could I expect the scores to change?

Also, related, how long would it take to reflect on my credit report?

  • 6
    You can't call the credit agency itself and pay off the debts. Additionally, we can't know exactly how much your credit score will improve as the algorithm is a trade secret. I'm not voting to close, though, as someone may be able to provide an educated guess. Aug 5, 2016 at 15:15
  • 4
    Side Note: Not all creditors that you owe will remove your file even if you pay them in full.
    – NuWin
    Aug 5, 2016 at 23:31

3 Answers 3


You need to watch out for a couple landmines before embarking on this. Firstly, you need to avoid affirming the debt. When you affirm the debt it gives them grounds to restart the clock and if your negotiations fail, you don't want that. Secondly, you don't want to pay them until you have, in writing, a statement of what you're getting in consideration for paying. In other words, if you call your creditor and say "I will pay in full if you remove this from my credit report" and they say "ok great we'll certainly do that, I can take payment over the phone". Stop right there. Six months after this happens you don't want to find out that the person you spoke to thought you meant marking the debt as paid as opposed to fully removing it. You need to demand that they give you written notice that they will be removing the collection record from ALL of your credit reports and that the debt will be fully settled.

As a side note, you can start negotiations by offering a lower amount than full. For example you might say something like "I see on my credit report that you've listed this collection account against me. I can not affirm that that debt is valid but if you agree to take 50% and remove the record from my credit report". From here they could say anything but at least you've given yourself room to negotiate.


To get back to your original question. The impact to your score will probably be pretty big if you are successful in having all of your collection accounts removed. Creditkarma will provide you with a free FAKO score and can give you what your score would be if you do certain things (like pay off collections accounts).

As far as how fast the score will be updated, it'll be updated as fast as the collector removes your account. I'm guessing the process would take around a month. I'm basing that on how long it takes to do a credit report dispute. It could be less time if all your creditors do their reporting very quickly. It could be more if they don't do what they're supposed to and you have to do a dispute.

  • +1 | While I understand that that the -1 was probably given to this answer for focusing on the murkier side of collections. You need to ensure that the collections agency contacting you actually owns the debt at this point, and you need to ensure they will report it as completed not simply paid. Debt collection is a shady industry and you need to cover your back side if only to ensure your debt doesn't get sold down the river even after you pay it. There's nothing immoral about negotiating the repayment, because at this point the entity you're paying isn't the entity you initially owed anyway.
    – quid
    Aug 5, 2016 at 19:21
  • @quid yeah it's my bad since I forgot to get back to the actual question. I added in a more direct response to OP's question. Aug 5, 2016 at 21:48

What one must keep in mind is that for all models, the credit score is not just based on negative items reporting on your account. It is also based on positive items; e.g., history of on-time payments, high total amount of credit available, and low usage ratio (outstanding balance to total credit available).

Someone who has very little in the way of positive items on their report, but many negative ones will have a low score, and their score may not improve much when the negative items are removed, compared to another person who, all else equal, has a long history of positive items. It's hard to know how these interact--that's a secret--but it is certainly public knowledge that both positive and negative items are considered in calculating the score; therefore, simply having negative items removed does not tell a sufficiently complete picture.

Finally, do not assume that the size of debt is proportional to the adverse impact on the score. Think of it this way: if a prospective creditor sees that another creditor lent you $500 but did not pay them back, and that debt was sold to a collection agency, that could be interpreted to mean that you were not even able to pay that sum.


You will have to pay off each creditor individually. I assume these are all collection accounts, in which case you'll have to discuss what you propose with them and see if they'll do that. They're unlikely to be willing to totally remove the item (although it's possible they might, depending on how badly they want to resolve the account) because that's not a normal practice.

Depending on how old the collection is, you might be better off leaving it alone. Any new activity (such as payments and such) can allow the creditor to report it for another 7 years from the date you paid it, so if it's been more than a few years since the last activity, the best course can be to leave it alone and let it fall away in time. OLD collection debt is less harmful to your score than NEW collection debt. Most creditors look at the age of your bad debts as part of their determination processes.

What the creditor/collection agency WILL do (if you make sure of it) is mark your collections as paid, which is still negative, but not nearly as bad as an "open" (unpaid) collection. Paying those items off will have some effect in your score (nobody can give a definite answer because how the scoring models work internally is a closely guarded secret)

I hope this helps.

Good luck!

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