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How to do a Pay for Delete for a Collection

Ali Zane is a credit repair expert, advocate, and author with nearly 20 years experience getting positive results for his credit repair clients.

Paid Collections vs. Pay for Delete

If you’ve recently attempted to settle collections on your credit report because you want to start the process of rebuilding your credit, you’ll be shocked to learn that paying off a collection may actually harm your score. A “paid collection” will remain on your credit report even after you’ve paid it off, suppressing your score.

Unless you’re a victim of identity theft or fraudthe only way to increase your credit score is to get the account deleted from the credit report in exchange for payment. Most collection companies may not readily agree to do this. This article contains the tools that will help you settle and delete collections in order to repair your credit rating.

5 Easy Methods for How to Do a Pay for Delete for a Collection:

A lot of people want to know the best methods on how to do this. The truth is, there are many different ways you can go about it. The first step is always contacting your creditor and asking them if they will accept payment in full or delete the account from your credit report.

Here are a few easy things you can say right away once you’re on the phone with your creditor:

  1. Ask for a “pay for delete.”
  2. Offer lower payment to your creditor.
  3. Negotiate with them and agree on a figure to settle on.
  4. If you can afford to pay your creditor in full, do so. It’s the best way to remove it from your credit report and score for good!
  5. If your creditor agrees to delete or settle your collection accounts, get the agreement in writing. If you have a few debts to settle, many creditors will accept payment for one account or another and then delete all other accounts from your credit report at no additional cost.

The Idea of a Pay for Delete for Collections

The idea behind a pay for delete is one that’s been around for a few years now. In order to make make the payments or settlements, you’ll have to work out a deal with the creditor who has the collection. When you’re trying to rebuild your credit, this is a really important thing to do. Once the account is deleted from your credit report, it will no longer be seen as “paid” and will no longer impact your credit score!

How to Negotiate a Lower Collection Amount

As you may be aware all major collection companies small or even big ones like ERC, Midland Credit, Portfolio Recovery will settle for much lower amounts. The rule of thumb is that the larger and older the collection the bigger discount you may get on the settlement.

It is not uncommon for Midland Credit to settle a $5,000 debt that is over 4 years old to be settled for $1,000, which is about 20% of the original amount. Likewise, a smaller debt of $300 that fell behind last month does not leave that much room for negotiation. As a general rule of thumb, for debts around $1,000, start with a 40% offer, for debts over $2,000 start with a 30% offer, and for debts over $4,000 start with a 20% offer.

What If a Collection Company Agrees to Delete, but Won’t Send Written Confirmation?

They’ve verbally agreed to delete the account, but they won’t provide you with a written agreement first. Here’s what you do:

Inform them that you will be sending them a check rather than cash. In the note area of your check, write, “cash only if you’ll get rid of the credit report,” fill in the letter below and send everything together overnight with a signature required.

[Your name]

[Your address]


[Company Name]

[Company Address]


To whom it may concern,


As per my conversation with your customer service representative, I am following through on my pledge to settle this debt in exchange for its removal from my credit report. Hence, I am attaching a check for $_______________ to pay off the referenced account under the condition that the account will be removed in entirety from all the three credit bureaus.

If the implied conditions to delete are not acceptable, please return my check. In the event that you cash this check and do not remove the collection from my credit report, this will constitute a breach of contract. I will then have to refer this matter to the Attorney General’s office and proceed with filing suit.


[your name]

What If a Collection Company Says They Will Not Delete?

Ask them when and to what address they sent the initial collection notices to and if they had any mail returned to them. If letters were not sent to your current address at the time, you can offer to send them proof of your address from that time if they’ll consider deleting the account. If they don’t agree, then elevate your request further by asking to speak to a supervisor.

The Final Step: Take Action to Repair Your Credit

Now if you’re overwhelmed by the suggestions above, or you’re finding a creditor hard to deal with, then it may be time to hire a professional.

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