How to Remove collections From Your Credit Report Without Paying (2024)

You cannot remove collections from your credit report without paying if the information is accurate, but a collection account will fall off your credit report after 7 years whether you pay the balance or not. If the entry is fraudulent or the account details are incorrect, you can file a dispute with the three major credit bureaus.

How to Dispute a Collection Account on Your Credit Report

  1. Review all three of your credit reports to locate the collection account.
  2. Investigate the entry to confirm if it is inaccurate or legitimate.
  3. Dispute any error online, over the phone, or via mail with documentation to support your claim.
  4. Wait for the results (usually 30 to 45 days).

If the entry is accurate, and you do not pay off the account, a collection agency can sue you for the balance. After a judge rules in a debt collector’s favor, the company could garnish your wages, freeze your bank accounts, or place a lien against your property in an attempt to collect the debt.

Conversely, paying the collection account balance may improve your credit score as well as allow you to ask your creditor for a goodwill adjustment.

Other Ways to Deal With a Collection Account

Pay the Collection Account: The newest FICO and VantageScore credit scoring models ignore collections with a $0 balance. As a result, paying your collection off can eliminate the adverse effect on your credit score. However, scores from older models are not affected by paid collections, and the entry will remain on your credit report either way.

Ask for a Goodwill Adjustment: If you pay off the collection account, you can also ask the lender for a goodwill adjustment to remove the derogatory mark from your credit report. While creditors do not have to oblige, goodwill requests are successful in some cases.

Medical Debt in Collections

The credit bureaus will automatically remove a paid medical collection account from your credit report following changes to their policies in July 2022. Additionally, starting in the first half of 2023, the bureaus will no longer include medical debt in collections under $500 on credit reports. A medical debt of $500 or more will only be listed on your credit report if it is in collections for one year.

You can check your credit report and get personalized credit-improvement tips for free here at WalletHub.

This answer was first published on 12/09/22. For the most current information about a financial product, you should always check and confirm accuracy with the offering financial institution. Editorial and user-generated content is not provided, reviewed or endorsed by any company.

How to Remove collections From Your Credit Report Without Paying (2024)
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