Get collection entries deleted from your credit report

Never allow a collection agency tell you they cannot delete a collection account from your reports. It’s simply not true. If they put it on your credit report, they can take it off. A pay for delete is when a debt collector agrees to remove a debt from your credit report in exchange for payment. While the credit bureaus frown upon these types of agreements, collection agencies have it in their power to delete collection accounts from reports.

Why a pay for delete agreement

Paid collection entries on your credit report do nothing to increase your credit score. Paid collections hold the same negative weight as unpaid collection accounts. Once lenders begin to use the latest version of the credit scoring model, FICO 9, people with paid collections will see an improved credit score. But until then, current and older versions of the FICO credit scoring model make no difference in paid or unpaid collection accounts — both are negative.

Deleting a collection account can increase your credit scores, especially if the collection account is recent. As a collection account gets older, FICO seems to give it less weight in terms of your credit score. The older a collection account, whether paid or unpaid, the less it factors into your credit score. In fact, when a negative account reaches 48 months or older it is no longer calculated into your credit score.

When to Negotiate a Deletion

A pay for deletion is a request made by you to the creditor or collection agency to pay a debt in full or an agreed upon percentage in exchange for a deletion of the account or trade-line. Before negotiating a deletion you may want to request debt validation with the collection agency to see if they can even prove you owe the debt.

Who Can Do a Pay for Deletion

Pay for deletions can be done with original creditors or collection agencies. Some collection agencies will tell you it is illegal for them to delete collection entries. The furnisher of information can remove what they have instructed the credit bureaus to report.

Settle Collection Agency Debt for Less

There is a possibility you can settle your debts for pennies on the dollar. See How to Settle Debt with Collection Agencies. Some collection agencies will require you pay the full amount in order for them to delete the account. But keep in mind a debt collector who purchased your debt, paid pennies on the dollar for the debt — so why not benefit and settle the debt for less. But even if you have to pay the full amount in exchange for a deletion it can be worth it.

All Negotiations Must Be in Writing

All negotiations should be done in writing and all letters mailed via certified, return receipt. You must create a paper trail. Your correspondence serves as proof if you ever need to pursue a lawsuit for resolution of the matter. Payment should not be sent before you have an agreement signed by the collection agency in your hands. Get a letter on company letterhead that spells out they will remove the debt from all three major credit-reporting agencies. Sample Pay for Deletion Letter

The bottom line in paying off obligations should be to help your credit score. Lenders use credit scores to make credit decisions, such as the interest rate you get when you apply for a loan. It’s not a good feeling being denied for credit or unable to make big purchases like an auto or home due to poor credit scores. Good credit can save you money. There is too much at stake to simply pay-off a debt and get nothing in return, request a pay for delete.


  1. nora francis says:

    i have medical bills from cancer. i have been faithfully paying a monthly amount, however now in collections which dramatically lowered my credit score(815-637). they are listing accounts separately ct scan, lab, in house bed, pt, etc. although money is being paid to 1 facility. is this legal?

    • Unfortunately you can receive separate bills from your physician, radiologist, anesthesiologist, and any other consultants or specialists that your attending physician chose to involve in your case. They can bill you directly for their services because they are not necessarily employed by the hospital where you were treated. Separate billing means you can have separate collection agencies involved. There may have been a chance to negotiate how and if these bills are listed on your credit report when you entered into a payment arrangement.

      I would advise that you try one or all of these strategies to get the collection accounts removed from your credit report:

      1. Medical Billing Advocates. Because hospital bills are often confusing and patients are over-billed, a fairly new cottage industry called “medical billing advocates” has arisen. These are private companies or individuals for hire that work with medical providers on your behalf to get your bills reduced. They help you find errors or overcharges in your medical bills, appeal coverage denials with your insurer, or negotiate lower fees with your medical provider. The first consultation should be free to see if they can help. To find medical billing advocates in your area (or by specialty), contact the Medical Billing Advocates of America at

      2. The Hospital Ombudsman. Many hospitals have special advocates or ombudspersons who help resolve billing disputes between patients and hospitals. The hospital ombudsman is a good resource. Some people have let me know their success in contacting the hospital ombudsman. In most cases they can arrange to take hospital bills back from collection agencies if you agree to pay the hospital directly. Once a medical debt is transferred back to the hospital, the collection agency will be instructed to remove the negative mark from your credit reports.

      3. Check out WhyChat’s Guide to Medical Bill Disputes. This information is available for free. It is an extensive breakdown of HIPAA laws and how to dispute medical collections to get them removed from your credit reports. It will take some work on your part but may be very well worth your time. The guide to medical disputes can be found here.

  2. I have a few questions about deletions. If I contact a collectin agency and offer to pay in exchange for a full deletion and they refuse to delete the file will that change the date for it to drop off since I made contact with them. Also, if I receive in writing confirmation that they will delete the file upon payment and they do not remove it from my file, what recourse do I have???? they would have their money, but what proof or guarantee will I receie that it will be rmoved? and then my final question is there creditors that will not delete files no matter what you pay?

  3. cassandra says:

    hi, I am wanting to get some things deleted off of my report and wanted to send a validation letter to the creditor but how do I know what my account number is? Also, if I send a letter to delete for payment and they decline doing that, does it changed my deletion date of my credit report. Exp. I have one coming off on 4/2012, since I contacting them does it add another 7 years?

  4. I recently settled two accounts in collections for less than what was due but was unaware that I should have requested to have it deleted. On my credit report it shows that i settled for less than due and I am wondering how I can now go about deleting these items from my report?

    • Lisa Phillips says:

      First let me thank you for visiting the website. Now, as far as removing “settled” collection accounts, the only strategy I can think of is to dispute the listing directly with the credit bureaus. Don’t kick yourself about settling the accounts without requesting a deletion, what’s done is done. Focus on disputing an inaccuracy within the paid collection listing such as an incorrect amount, wrong dates, basically anything about the listing that can be disputed as inaccurate. When you dispute inaccurate information with the credit bureaus, never give them the correct information because your goal is a deletion, not a correction of already negative information.

      A simple, to the point, dispute letter would look something like this: You are reporting an incomplete item on my credit report and I dispute [account name] and [account number] as the balance is incorrect. Please delete the account immediately.

Leave a Comment