Credit Cards

How To Write A Pay For Delete Letter

By David Krug David Krug is the CEO & President of Bankovia. He's a lifelong expat who has lived in the Philippines, Mexico, Thailand, and Colombia. When he's not reading about cryptocurrencies, he's researching the latest personal finance software. 8 minute read

When and how to write a letter of recommendation. For many of us, “If I simply ignore these bills long enough, maybe they’ll go away” has been a common thought. This strategy, on the other hand, has been tested and proven to be a waste of time. Ignoring debt merely makes it more difficult to manage in the future, much like failing to pay parking fines or buying expired milk. You may be able to enjoy a little period of blissful ignorance, but the long-term effects are inevitable.

If you default on the loan, you may feel helpless to save the situation and get out of debt if you default on debt. In fact, that’s not the case at all. One thing you can do right away if you’re anxious about how to pay off your debt might help you get out of trouble. A “pay for deletion” letter is what it’s called. If you’ve been approached by a debt collector, you may want to consider sending one.

What exactly is a “pay to remove” letter?

When a customer falls on a loan, a collection agency will buy it from them for a fraction of what they owe. So, for example, if an agency purchases a $10,000 debt for $1,000, the agency may then search down the original borrower and collect the whole amount. The collection agency will get $9,000 after the borrower makes good on his or her end of the bargain. A pay-to-delete letter might come in helpful in this situation.

Instead of paying the whole amount or setting up a payment plan, you can submit a letter to the agency, requesting that they remove the defaulted debt from your credit record in return for a lump sum of money that closes the deal. If you’ve ever received a letter like this, you know it as a “pay-to-delete” letter.

Pay for delete letters can be effective in getting a default off your credit record, but sending one does not guarantee that your offer will be accepted. There are creditors who will not allow any requests to pay for deletion, regardless of the circumstances.

How you might use a pay for delete letter

Let’s imagine you owe $5,000 on a credit card and it’s sold to a debt collection firm for $500. Defaulting on a loan can have a negative influence on your credit score for seven to ten years. Negotiate with the collection agency to see if they would remove the default from your credit record early in exchange for settling a portion of the amount.

A pay-for-delete letter may cost you $2,500 to remove the default from your credit record, based on this example. If you receive it in writing, this practice is legal and binding. Verbal pay-for-delete agreements have no value and can be violated by the borrower without any consequences for the lender.

What to include in a pay for delete letter

Pay-to-delete letters should be prepared in a professional manner and contain precise and clear information if they are to be considered for consideration. Don’t exaggerate, deceive, or distort the facts of the case. Include the following:

  • Your full, legal name
  • Your address
  • Collection agency’s name
  • Collection agency’s address
  • Account number
  • Alleged amount owed

Contrary to popular belief, you should refuse to admit any responsibility for the debt. Instead, demand that the lender or collection agency provide proof that the debt was actually yours, to begin with. You have the right to contest an alleged debt under the Fair Debt Collection 

Practices Act. A loan may be removed from your credit report totally if they can’t confirm it.
Get divorced, lose your job, or have a medical emergency to explain why you couldn’t pay your debts on time, for example. Moving to a new city and not having your invoices sent might also be included. Provide evidence of possible to back up what you’re saying. In order to confirm that the lender got your letter, send it certified mail with a return receipt.

Sample pay for delete letters

One of the templates.


[Your name]

[Your address]

[Collection Agency’s name]

[Collection Agency’s address]

Re: Account number [insert your account number] / Alleged amount owed: [$XXXX]

Dear Collection Manager,

This is in response to your [letter/call/entry on credit report] regarding the debt in the above-mentioned account. Thank you for your time and consideration. By paying off this obligation, I want to free up some of your time and mine.

Due to the fact that I have yet to receive any documentation proving the debt, I cannot recognize or accept the obligation. If you don’t respond as outlined below, this isn’t a guaranteed commitment to pay the loan.

Since you provided the original information on the debt, I am aware that your organization has the capacity to disclose this debt and to amend the reported listing at the credit agencies.

Please delete this debt from my credit record within 15 calendar days of payment if I can pay [the entire amount of this debit / $XXX as a settlement for this debt]. If you agree to these conditions, I will deliver a certified payment of $XXX to [Collection Agency’s Name] in return for the removal of all information relating to this debt from my credit reports.

As a condition of accepting this offer, you undertake not to disclose its terms to anybody other than the original creditor in any way. Prepare a response on your company letterhead accepting the conditions and having it signed by an authorized representative of your firm if you accept the offer.

I have the right to contest this purported debt under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. Please respond within 15 calendar days or I will withdraw my offer and demand complete verification of this debt.

If you agree, please send your signature to the address provided. I look forward to a mutually constructive resolution to this issue.


[Your Name]

Template two


[Your name]

[Your address]

Attention: [Collection manager’s name]

[Collection Agency’s name]

[Collection Agency’s address]

Account number: [insert your account number]

Amount as listed on credit report: [$XXXX.XX]

Dear [Collection manager’s name],

I am writing to give you the option to pay the purported sum due to our mutual advantage in regard to the account indicated above. This debt is not mine, and I have the right to request a thorough debt verification and validation from your organization. Please be aware of this.
The following requirements must be met before I will pay a major percentage of this account:

  • Once you have received the agreed upon payment amount, your organization agrees to classify the account as “payment in full.” This isn’t going to be a “paid collection” or a “settled account.”
  • After receiving payment, your organization promises to remove this account from any and all credit bureaus you report to within 15 calendar days.
  • You and your firm have agreed that this debt will not be sold or transferred to another creditor at any time.
  • Aside from the initial creditor, your organization undertakes not to disclose the terms of this agreement to any third parties.

A certified cashier’s check or money order is all that is required provided you agree to these terms in writing. As a reminder, this is not a new agreement to pay. In order to receive money, you must agree to the terms listed above, which are part of a limited debt settlement offer. This offer is contingent upon your formal consent to the above conditions on company letterhead, signed by an authorized representative of your firm if you accept.

There are 30 days left to take advantage of this deal. Thank you for your attention and I look forward to hearing from you.


[Your name]

Tips for getting your pay for delete letter approved

Your pay for deletion request will be more likely to be approved if you have more to give a creditor. Lowball offers might result in your request being ignored by these firms, which are in the business of making money. Offer to pay the whole amount required if your initial request is turned down. When a collection agency sees a tempting offer like this, they’re more likely to grant your request to delete the debt from your credit report and remove it from your record.

What to do if your letter gets rejected

You have two alternatives if your payment for a delete letter is rejected:

  1. After accepting their decision, you can either wait seven years for the account to be removed off your credit report, or you can pay the entire amount owing immediately and have it removed from your credit record immediately.
  2. Send a second letter, this time requesting a letter of debt verification.

Your lender or collection agency will get a debt validation letter asking for verification and proof that the debt you owe is in fact yours. Essentially, they must be able to verify that you took out the loan, that you stopped making payments, and that the debt was transferred to a collection agency.

Debts might be disputed in whole or in part if the creditor fails to provide sufficient evidence. Asking for evidence of debt is a good idea even if you know the debt is yours since many collectors will fraudulently claim ownership of the debt. They may be the ones who owe them money, but they lack the documentation to prove it.

Alternatives to pay for delete letters

The debt can still be paid in full even if your pay for delete request is denied. The loan will still appear on your credit record, but it will seem more favorably than default or settlement.
Alternatively, you can submit a “goodwill” letter to the lender, requesting that the mark be erased. When you’ve made an honest mistake or had a difficult time, this is a great way to get back on track.

Depending on how long the loan has been outstanding, it may be better to let it go over the seven-year threshold (or higher) so that it will be removed from your credit record. Unpaid debt that is five years old can be requested to be removed from a consumer’s credit report by waiting two years. This only works if you don’t have any immediate plans to raise your credit score.

As a potential borrower, be aware that an unpaid debt might preclude you from receiving the loan you’re applying for. If you’re looking for work, keep in mind that some companies may do a credit check and may opt to revoke an employment offer if they find out you have outstanding loans.

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