Here is a common myth related to money that, once dispelled, might save you some:
Myth: Paying off an old debt will help my credit score.
Reality: True, but not immediately. A collection item on your credit report is regarded as seriously negative, whether it is paid or unpaid, said Gerri Detweiler, personal finance adviser for Credit.com. Settle the debt for less if you can.
Almost all bad marks on your credit report remain for seven years, except personal bankruptcy, which lasts for 10 years, according to Credit.com.
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One exception: if you can talk your creditor into removing the negative mark from your credit report if you pay in full. Creditors are not supposed to do that, but it's done, Detweiler said. Removing it will help your credit rating.