Can You Have a 700 Credit Score with Collections?

Can You Have a 700 Credit Score with Collections?


9 Min Read

Your credit history is a major indicator of your financial well-being. It is a door-opening or closing factor for obtaining loans, mortgages, and credit cards. It can be a lucky number, leading to some financial privileges, or a bad omen, blocking your path to financial independence. But if a collection shows up on your credit account, how should you deal with it?

Collections will substantially affect your credit record. They show signs of past repayment problems, be they medical bills, overdue utility bills, or loan default. However, the interconnection of collections and credit scores may be more complex than believed.

We will explore credit scoring systems and answer the question, “Can you have a 700 credit score with collections?” Knowing how collections affect your credit score and what steps you can take to achieve a perfect score is essential.

What Information Contains Credit Reports?

Credit reports provide all kinds of financial information, and getting access to loans is conditioned by this data.

Personal Information

Personal information includes your name, current and previous addresses, date of birth, Social Security number, and sometimes employment history.

Credit Accounts

This includes all credit card balances, loans, mortgages, or lines of credit. The opening date of an account, the amount of loan or a credit limit, current balance, payment history, and any defaults or delays are also specified.

Credit Inquiries

Your credit report also contains a list of companies or individuals who request your credit report. There are two types: “hard inquiries,” when you apply for a loan from a lender, and “soft inquiries,” when a company checks your credit for pre-approval, or you check it yourself just for information.

Public Records

Your report shows any documents the public would find concerning your financial history, including filings for bankruptcies, foreclosures, tax liens, or court judgments.

Collection Accounts

This section of the credit report contains information on collections from accounts due to non-payment.

Credit Utilization

The balance-to-credit-limit ratio on your credit card accounts. Having a high credit utilization ratio (typically over 30%) negatively affects your credit score.

Credit Score

Credit bureaus may exclude this score from the report, but they calculate it based on the information contained within your report. Such a score shows the credit risk in the form of a number. This figure is the basis upon which most lenders approve or decline loan applications.

How Do Collections Affect Your Credit Score?

Collections can badly impact your credit score. When a debt goes to collection, the creditor gives up on receiving the payment straight from you and passes the responsibility to a debt collection agency. Let’s break down the potential financial consequences.

  • Lower Credit Score. Collections represent a huge drop in your credit score, which may be up to a 100-point or even more, depending on your previous credit history and the collection amount.
  • Negative Entry on Credit Report. The appearance of the debt collection account has a bad influence on your credit history, meaning you failed to pay a debt. This disadvantage could prevent loan providers from lending you money.
  • Seven-Year Reporting Period. Reports, in turn, usually stay on your credit record for up to seven years from when you became late on your payment. Therefore, it would still impact your credit score even after you took out the debt.
  • Unfavorable Loan Terms. When lenders see a collection on your credit report, it becomes more difficult for them to offer you favorable terms on credit cards, bank loans, or mortgage loans. You may have to handle higher interest rates or unfavorable conditions if accepted.
  • Potential for Legal Action. In some situations, the debt collector may take further legal action against you, which could involve bad records in your credit reports. Collection agencies or the original creditor may have the right to garnish your salary or liens on your property.

It is necessary to quickly address the situation to reduce the negative effect of collections on your credit score. You may agree with the collection agency and pay the credit card debt at least partially. There is also an option to deny the debt and dispute its validity if you think there’s an error. Furthermore, your credit rating will improve after you develop a positive habit of credit management.

Is a 700 Credit Score Possible With Collection Accounts?

Theoretically, reaching a 700 credit score with a collection account on your credit report is possible, but it’s very unusual with old-fashioned credit-scoring models. A derogatory note employed by a credit bureau tends to drastically lower your chances of getting a good credit score (700 or higher).

How Long Does a Collection Account Stay on a Credit Report?

The credit agencies report the collection account to major credit bureaus, and according to the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), it can stay on a borrower’s credit report for as long as seven years from the day the debt becomes delinquent.

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How Many Points Does a Collection Take from a Credit Score?

The influence of collection on your credit score is different due to several factors, such as the type of collection, the amount of debt, and your current FICO score. Usually, a default can cause a dramatic decrease in your credit rating, taking off 50-100 points or even more.

Loan collections often reflect a violation of an existing lending agreement, one of the most important criteria in credit scoring calculations. Payment history is a portion of your credit score and usually contributes up to 35%. Creditors can view the negative impact of having a collection as a risk.

The debt amount is also very important. Higher debts can significantly lower your credit score. More than that, newer collections would have a greater negative effect on your score than older ones. As time goes by, the effect will fade away. However, your collection will be on your credit records for seven years.

Diverse credit scoring models consider collections differently, so their influence can differ, too. Generally, collections are the last resort and must be avoided if possible and resolved quickly if they arise.

Can You Remove Paid Collections From Your Credit Report?

Yes, it is possible to eliminate paid collections from your credit reports. However, it takes a lot of work. Check these tips:

  • Contact the Creditor. Call the creditor or third-party collection agency to negotiate a pay-for-delete arrangement. It means you will pay the debt and have them remove the collection from your credit report. Get this agreement in writing before you make any payment.
  • Request Removal. In addition to settling the debt, you can request that the record be deleted from your credit report. You can write a goodwill letter to remind them about the pay-for-delete agreement.
  • Check Your Credit Report. Check your credit report to ensure that the collection has been removed. You can obtain a free credit report from each of the three major credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion) once a year through
  • Dispute Errors. If there are mistakes on your credit report, you can dispute them with credit bureaus. Submit any evidence you may have to prove your case.

However, you must understand that not all creditors or collection agencies will grant a pay-for-delete agreement. Moreover, even if they consent to removing the collection from your credit file, there’s no assurance they will do so.

Tips on Increasing Your Credit Score After Collections

Besides the tips mentioned above, here are other tips for increasing your credit score after dealing with collections:

  1. Make Timely Payments. The most influential element of your credit file is your payments, which desperately matter to your credit score. Promoting the payments made on time can have a significant positive consequence.
  2. Keep Credit Utilization Low. Ensure your credit utilization ratio (i.e., the proportion of available credit you currently use) does not exceed 30%. This will show that you mostly rely on your own finances rather than debt.
  3. Avoid Opening Too Many Accounts. Every new account you open affects the average length of credit. Opening many new accounts quickly is also a bad sign for banks.
  4. Maintain Old Accounts. The length of your credit history is an important factor in determining your credit score. If you don’t intend to deactivate your old accounts, keep them open to continue demonstrating a history of well-maintained accounts.
  5. Diversify Your Credit Mix. If you have a credit portfolio containing credit cards, installment loans, and mortgages, this may reflect well on your credit score. Nevertheless, use credit wisely only if you can control it with self-discipline.
  6. Monitor Your Credit Regularly. Always be alert for your credit report and trace your movement to correct any issues early on. Many credit card issuers provide credit monitoring services as part of a free package.

Bottom Line

Ultimately, your credit score is a major component of your financial stability and, as such, affects your chances of taking out a loan or a mortgage. Letting your credit report drown in a sea of collections can cause a significant drop in your credit score, limiting your financial options.

Collections reflect that you had previous issues with paying your creditors or had a debt in default. It affects your credit score negatively. Such accounts can stay on your credit history for as long as seven years, which may prevent you from taking out new loans or lead to legal action. It is important to promptly act toward collections by arranging debt settlement or disputing invalid information to overcome these consequences.

Removing paid collections from your credit report is possible but not guaranteed. Trading a pay-for-delete contract with the creditor or collection agency will furnish some relief, but not all may be willing. However, you can still restore your credit, by demonstrating responsible financial behavior.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I check if I have collections on my credit report?

You can get a free credit report from the three major credit bureaus each year through the website This data aims to inform you of different aspects of your collections and all related parts of your credit history.

Can I still get a higher credit score if I have collections on my credit report?

Certainly! Although it is not easy, you can boost your credit score, even if you’ve got a bad credit history. Plus, with time, the negative effect of borrowing vice will subside, especially if you continue to do good credit, pay your dues on time, and use less than 30% of your total credit limit.

What can I do if the information about collections on my credit report needs to be corrected?

If you discover inaccuracies regarding collections on your credit report, try to dispute them with the credit bureau that issued the report. They are legally committed to investigating your dispute. If the collection agency fails to verify the debt, it must be deleted from your report.

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Edward Evans

Written by Edward Evans

Written by Edward Evans

Edward Evans is a money management expert and a freelance author of personal finance columns. He aims to provide accessible financial advice to improve financial literacy for average Americans and inspire them to take control of their personal finances and build wealth.

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