Is It Illegal To Pay For Delete? Why Was My Letter Rejected?

No, it is not illegal to pay for delete

Pay-to-delete (PFD) is unconventional, unpopular (well, becoming less popular) and unlikely that a collection agency will oblige. 

Still, it doesn’t hurt to ask, especially if the collections agency is trying to collect a debt that is more than 3 years old. 

Keep in mind: you will not get a PFD from the Original Creditor (OC) like a bank your tool loans from or hospital bills you don't want to affect your credit.

You should only try this tactic with collection accounts; it is only be made on delinquent accounts. 

Related: 7 Effective Ways You Can Raise Your Credit Score

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What Is Pay For Delete

If you have a delinquent account and you suggest to the creditor "If you delete this account from my credit report, I'll pay you some or all of the amount you claim is owed." Your intention simply to get the negative marks removed from your credit report

This is done in hopes of increasing your credit score and overall credit report. But it doesn’t always end with a higher credit score. 

This is done by speaking to the collections agency and sending a PFD Letter.

Related: 3 Effective Ways To Get Rid Of An Eviction On Your Credit Report

Is It Illegal To Pay For Delete

Pay To Delete Credit Factors

There are a few factors that increase the likelihood of a creditor removing inquiries with PFD or Tradeline Deletion:

  • Old Debt 
  • Amount Owed
  • Faulty Information
  • Communication Skills 

To be clear, these are not strict rules. They are just common practices among industry experts, which is why you will most likely get a pay-for-delete from a smaller agency. 

Smaller agencies have more flexible practices.

The most common misconception of pay for delete is that you can simply pay someone to delete accurate information from your credit report. 

If that was the case there would be no point in a credit report.

Related: how long does a short sale stay on your credit?


So, Is It Illegal To Pay For Delete?

Although it isn’t illegal to pay for delete, Credit Repair pros prefer the term “Tradeline Deletion”. Pay-for-delete has a bad connotation to it. 

It definitely sounds illegal. There is no way the credit bureaus like the term either. It implies you can bribe or “pay someone off” to remove accurate information. 

That screams fraud! No one wants that.

If you do find a debt collector that is willing to go through with a PFD make sure that you get it in writing. Verbal confirmation isn’t enough in this industry.

You want to make sure they delete everything related to that trade line. If the debt is resold to another collector you make to guarantee that it won’t pop-up again.

Send your check via Certified Mail Return Receipt. Basically, everything you do should be well documented. Everything.

Other Ways To Remove Items and Increase Credit Score

Get Consultation From These Credit Repair Companies 

No Response To Pay For Delete Letter?

One of the main reasons PFD is becoming less popular is that under the latest credit scoring models, pay-for-delete is basically being done for you.

You may be better off spending your time and resources resolving the collections account. 

And, as mentioned above, these types of agreements are rare and becoming rarer. Credit agencies aren't likely to remove accurate information.

By law, they are required to report true information, which is why some inquires can be removed if the information is falsely stated (incorrect dates, times, etc.) 

If your PFD letter does not work for you, you have other options/rights under the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

One of those options is to demand verification of the debt via a method of verification letter. Basically, if they don’t have the relevant information to verify the debt how can you be penalized?

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James Willaims

Hey There, James here. I am the co-founder and editor of this site. I have over 10 years experience in business and 5 in the credit repair world