Should you pay off 7-year-old debts?

NO! First thing to do if you want to pay off old debts is dispute the negative items on your credit report. If an update is over 5 years old they have to remove it. The reason I say dispute it is because when the credit bureau contacts the creditor the creditor has 30 days to validate the debt. If the creditor does not validate the debt in 30 days the credit reporting bureau is required to remove it. Once it is removed it is not supposed to be put back on unless notifying you first. Contact a mortgage company about how to fix your credit even if you are not buying a home right now. We just bought a house after working on our credit for 2 years after a fraudulant real estate sale ruined us. I think this question depends on the state you reside in. For example, in Ohio the statute of limitations, meaning how long the creditor or agency can take you to court and obtain a judgement, is 15 years. So, don't always asume that debt collector is bluffing when they say they are going to pursue the debt legally Before you dispute any accounts, look at the last reporting date on your credit report. If the creditor has reported to the bureau within the las 24 months dispute the account. If it has been over 3 years you are taking a risk the first thing that can happen is that it will be removed, the second thing that can happen is that it will alert the creditor that they have not reported in several years and then they will start reporting it again. If this happens it will look like a new occurrence in you credit and will affect your score. The further back an account is in your credit history, the less it affects your scores.