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Understanding Credit Scores


A collection can reduce a credit score by 30 to 100 points.

A collection is ANY debt that is sold to a service for the purpose of collecting on that debt. Once the Original Debtor “sells” the debt, they typically wash their hands of it and write the remaining balance as a loss. Once an item goes to collection, getting the problem resolved means you must deal with the collection agency.

Even if you pay a debt that has gone into collections, it can take up to three years — or longer — for a credit score to recover. The actual dollar amount of the collection has no bearing on the score. Outside of a Bankruptcy or Foreclosure, nothing can damage a good score as much as a simple collection.

Common Types of Collections:

Medical (most common)

Bounced Checks

Parking Fines/Motor Vehicle Fines


Cell Phones

Municipal Fines (think overdue Library Book)