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Q:
Can I offer the collection agency less than I owe?

I was out of work for several months and got behind on my credit card payments. The collection agency is calling daily. I recently started a good job and I want to get this account taken care of. Can I offer them less than I owe? If I do this, will the negative marks be removed from my credit report? -Jess

Jess,

Settling with a collection agency will not remove the negative notations already appearing on your credit bureau file. Generally, when you settle a debt, the collection agency will note on your credit bureau file that the debt as been "settled in full." However, there will still be a balance showing on the account. On the plus side, you should not be contacted again to repay this balance because the account settled.

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