Pay for Deletion – Can it Really Help?

One of the many means that people often use to repair their credit is the pay for deletion agreement. With this agreement, your creditor (or a collection agency who currently holds the debt) agrees to have your derogatory collection account removed from your credit report, in exchange for payment on the account. In some cases, you may pay the full amount you owe – in others, you may only pay a percentage, anywhere from 40%-80%.

Pay for deletion is not the same as a settlement agreement. When you pay off a settlement account, the account itself remains on your credit report, and will be listed as either ‘Paid in Full’ or ‘Settled’ depending upon whether or not you paid the full amount to the creditor or a partial payment. Having these settled accounts on your credit report can actually hurt you in some instances, as potential creditors may consider you a risk when it comes to repaying your debts in full. With pay for deletion, the record is removed from your credit report entirely – a potential creditor will not see the account, and it will not be a factor in your credit score.

Pay for deletion is most helpful for charge-off accounts that have been purchased by collection agencies, and other very old debts that have not been paid. By removing these debts from your credit history, you may be able to raise your credit score by several points. If you are using a credit repair agency, and they recommend a pay for deletion strategy, be certain that you have the agreement in writing before you pay – without the written agreement, you may find that the derogatory account remains on your credit report, even after you’ve paid.

It’s important to realize that pay for deletion is only a useful strategy when you have the money available to pay. Creditors will expect money in certified funds, such as a cashier’s check or money order, so having the funds on hand will help to expedite the process, should your creditor agree to the pay for deletion arrangement. Some creditors do not enter into these types of agreements, so it’s not a one-size fits all solution. However, even if the creditor does not agree, you or the credit repair agency may be able to negotiate other favorable terms in order to avoid having a ‘settled’ account on your credit report.

While pay for deletion is not always a viable option for everyone, it can help some individuals who have old debts that they can afford to pay off right away. Whether you are repairing your own credit, or relying on the services of a credit repair agency, get the pay for deletion agreement in writing, be ready to pay, and follow up to be sure that the account has been successfully deleted from your credit report after you’ve paid. As long as you pick accounts that are best suited to this type of agreement, you may be able to benefit from a tangible boost to your credit score.