Whether your attempts to pay for delete are successful can depend on whether you’re dealing with the original creditor or a debt collection agency. “As to the debt collector, you can ask them to pay for delete,” says McClelland. “This is completely legal under the FCRA. If going this route, you will need to get that in writing, so you can enforce it after the fact.”
What to keep in mind, however, is that pay for delete with a debt collector may not remove negative information on your credit history that was reported by the original creditor. The creditor may claim that its contract with the debt collection agency prevents it from changing any information that it reported to the credit bureaus for the account. That said, some debt collection agencies take the initiative and request that negative account information be deleted for customers who have successfully paid their collection accounts in full.
Before taking this step, consider how collection accounts may be impacting your credit score. The FICO 9 credit scoring model, for instance, doesn’t factor paid collection accounts into credit score calculations. So if you’ve paid off or plan to pay off a collection account, then you may not need to pursue pay for delete if your only goal is improving your credit score.
If you’re waiting for a debt to become time-barred. i.e. past the statute of limitations in which collection actions can be enforced, it’s important to avoid restarting the clock-which can occur if you make any promise to pay.
Hiring a credit repair firm is another option for paying to delete bad credit information. “Credit repair agencies essentially do the work for you by contacting the credit reporting agencies and providing objections to errors contained in the report or requesting that items that are untrue or incorrect be removed from the report,” says McClelland. In this instance, you’re not necessarily paying off any outstanding balances. However, you will pay a fee to the credit repair firm to act on your behalf in having negative information removed.
$30 to $100
The fees that a credit repair company charges can vary. Typically, there are two types of fees: an initial setup fee, and a monthly service fee. The initial fee can range from $10 to $100, while the monthly fee typically runs from $30 to $100 a month, although some companies do charge more.
When considering the fees, it’s important to weigh what you’re getting in return. According to the Federal Trade Commission, credit repair firms can’t legally do anything for you that you can’t do for yourself. You just have to be willing to spend the time reviewing your credit reports for negative or inaccurate information, reaching out to the credit bureaus to dispute that information, and following up on those disputes to make sure they’re being investigated.
If you decide that the time-saving aspect of working with a credit repair firm is worth your money, then thoroughly research any firms you’re considering to make sure you’ll be working with one of the best credit repair companies available. Joseph says most credit repair agencies are legitimate, but if you come across one that’s making promises that installment loans Missouri seem too good to be true or using methods to repair credit that aren’t covered by the FCRA, that’s a red flag that the company might be a scam.
Also, consider the timing before pursuing credit repair services. “After several years of being on your report, the negative impact on your credit score has likely passed,” says McClelland. That’s because negative information eventually can fall off your credit report automatically.