How a “Pay for Delete” Works

pay for delete letters

So you have a collection account on your report. If you pay it, will it help your credit score?


Paying a collection account will not improve your credit score. The only way to remove the negative impact of collections on your score is to delete the account from your report completely.

But how do you do that?

Enter. The Pay-for-Delete

How a “Pay for Delete” works

A pay for delete is a scenario in which a collection agency agrees to remove the derogatory account once you pay the past due balance in full. In some cases, the collection agency will agree to a settlement for less than the amount owed. However, this is against the credit bureaus policy, and they have been cracking down on this practice in the last few years.

It used to be much easier to negotiate a pay-for-delete a couple of years ago. Although many collection companies will remove a negative account from your credit report entirely, usually, these are smaller collection companies.

What is a Pay for Delete Letter?

A pay for delete letter is a written agreement between you and the debt collector, agreeing to remove the account once paid. Pay for Delete letters are rarely used by collection agencies today because it is a practice that could get them into trouble with the credit bureaus. If you notice a new collection account on your report, you can send them pay for delete letter. While it won’t always work, it’s definitely worth a try.

Download this sample pay for delete letter

 When a Pay for Delete Doesn’t Work, Dispute it.

Since a pay for delete doesn’t always work these days, you need to know the alternative ways to have collections removed from your credit report. Disputing accounts with the credit bureaus directly is nothing new. It’s something that every credit repair company does because it works.

When you dispute anything on your credit report, the credit bureau has 30 days to launch an investigation to confirm the item’s accuracy. They will contact the creditor asking them to validate the account. If the collection agency cannot validate it or fails to respond in time, the credit bureau, by law, has to remove it from your credit report entirely.

If the creditor verifies the account, dispute it again. Dispute it as many times as you can if they continue to validate the account. You can negotiate a settlement for less than the amount owed with the collection company and pay it off. Then, go back to the credit bureau and dispute the account again. This time the collection agency has no incentive to verify the account because you have paid them. This leads to a higher chance of having that account removed from your report.

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