7 to 10 yrs from the time it appeared initially on your credit. Contact original creditor & see if they will help you with a letter saying there was a billing error, send the letter if you can get one to the collection company & have them remove the collection account for it was entered in error. Cry a lot and ask for mercy.
Only the credit bureaus the collection agency can remove a collection from your credit report. The collection agency won't do it now since it is paid and they have no reason to. You can dispute it to the credit bureaus and ask for verification on the account. They will have 30 days to verify the items or it must be removed from your credit report.
All valid negative entries on a credit report remain for the required time limit. Medical bills that were referred to collections would remain on the report for 7 years even if they are paid. The impact of paying a debt upon one's credit score cannot be determined as scores are based upon the consumer's entire credit history.
Not much other than having the collection marked from unpaid to paid. If you are paying off credit collection companies, negotiate to get a letter from them telling you that the amount you are paying is the balance as agreed and that they will remove it from your credit report. Do not pay until you get that letter. If you pay without doing that, it will stay on your credit report for about 3 years depending on when the collection was first put on your credit report. The fact that you paid it already just says on your credit report that instead of unpaid the collection is marked as paid. If you already paid either repair your credit or get a reputable firm in the BBB who has a money-back guaranteed policy.
Removing Paid Accounts from a Credit ReportIf you haven't paid your collection account(s) yet, negotiate with the collection agency. State that you plan to pay in full, and that you want them to agree to remove the item from your credit report. If you've paid, and the item remains on your report, go to the credit bureau and dispute the item that has been paid. It's a good chance that the collection agency has purged your record and therefore will NOT verify a dispute investigation from the credit bureau. If the credit bureau doesn't receive verification from the collection agency in thirty days, they are obligated by law to delete the item from your credit report. Only the collection agency or the credit bureaus can remove collections off your credit report. You can either negotiate with the collectiona agency or dispute it to the credit bureaus.
If you are paying a collection company, make sure before you pay anything, that you get a deletion letter. This is a letter stating that if you pay, the entry will be deleted off your credit report. Now, whether you are paying in full or settling, it has the same affect on your credit score--Paid collection or paid P&L or charge-off account. This will remain on your credit for 7 years. This is why it is important that you get a deleting letter. Source: Phil Turner, Credit Bible.
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