Removing collections or not based on length of history?

Removing collections or not based on length of history?
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Some background: I’ve had no credit cards, no loans or anything else on my credit for over 10 years and my credit report was basically like it was when I turned 18 (I know, that was a HUGE mistake!)… then I got divorced 2 years ago and had 2 things go into collections (depression on losing my kids hit me hard). I’m FINALLY in a place where I’m happy and working on my credit now.

So, now I have 2 items in collections on my credit report. One was “paid” last year when I returned equipment (a DVR) to the cable company that I found in the closet and forgot I even had. They removed the big amount ($738 for a DVR) from the return and it showed up as paid on my report… but there was still $200 owed (the last bill) and then that’s when the one collection ding became two. The other $200 showed up from a collection agency last year. So now I have 1 in active collections and 1 in paid-off collections. I can’t even see the paid one on Credit Karma, but I can see it in the Nerd Wallet app.

I have done some research and show that the collection agency will remove it off of my credit report all together if I agree to pay the $200 in full and I have a sample letter I’m sending them to ask for it to be removed. I won’t talk to them over the phone, has to be in writing through the mail.

My question is… that one is a year old and the paid one is 3 years old from what the report says. Should I just pay the 1-year-old and leave it on my report to reflect credit age, or should I have it removed and show no age at all?

I applied for the Apple Card on my phone and expected to get denied, but they approved me for $250 credit limit and I’m taking it very, very serious and paying it off in full every month and not going over 30% utilization at the max. That should raise my credit score up a little bit, right?

Let me know what to do. I am ready to get back on with my life, and with a good credit score this time!


Welcome to the community, @koiphish! It sounds like you’re bouncing back from a really tough time. Glad things are going better!

Collection accounts don’t help your scores in any way, so if you can successfully get it deleted, you should definitely try. If you can’t get it deleted – and most times, you can’t – you can help offset it by adding more positive information to your credit reports with a credit card or secured credit card and perhaps a credit builder loan. More on that here: