Key Takeaways

If you have a debt in collections, a key step in your credit repair journey could involve sending a pay for delete letter to the collection agency to request them to remove the negative item from the credit report in exchange for clearing the debt. There is no guarantee that this approach will work, and there are several benefits and drawbacks that you should know about. We can’t offer legal advice, but if you’re planning to use a pay for delete letter, it’s worth getting in touch with a professional who can assist you in the process.  

What is a Pay For Delete Letter

A pay for delete letter is a written request that you can send to your lender or a collection agency. Through the letter, you can ask them to remove the negative item from your credit report in exchange for partially or fully paying off your outstanding debt. Collection agencies or lenders are not required to accept the offer, but they may accept it if they’re eager to recover the money.

A pay for delete letter is not for correcting errors or inaccuracies in your credit report. Instead, it involves asking lenders to retract the information they reported about the default or missed payments.

Do Pay for Delete Letters Work?

A pay for delete letter is a form of negotiation with your lender. It’s most likely to work when you are offering something valuable in return, such as clearing the outstanding balance in full. If you have missed several payments and the lender thinks it’s unlikely to recover the money, they may be more inclined to accept your offer.

Credit repair companies use techniques like pay for delete letters and several other methods to attempt to improve your credit score.

Pay for Deletion Letter PDF: Where to Find and How to Use It

If you’re negotiating credit card debt or any other debt on your own, you can use a pay for deletion letter as a part of your negotiations. The process is quite easy and straightforward, and you’ll be able to find sample PDFs that you can edit and customize.

You’ll be able to easily find pay for delete letter samples online. Simply fill it out using your personal information, take a printout, and send it to the collection agency. Make sure you double-check details, such as the amount you’re offering to pay, the name of the original creditor, and the name of the collection agency.

What To Do If You Receive No Response

Collection agencies or lenders are not under any obligation to respond to or accept your offer. If you do not hear anything back from them, wait for at least 30 days to make sure they have enough time to think about your offer and respond.

If you still don’t hear back, you can call and talk about your offer. If the debt collector rejects your offer, you only have a few options on hand.

  • You can pay off the outstanding balance in full. The account will still be on your credit report, but the outstanding amount will reflect zero.
  • Try debt settlement. Ask the collection agency to settle the account for less than you owe. If they accept, the account will be closed once you make the payment.
  • Wait to see if your debt is transferred to another collection agency, and try again.

How to Send a Pay to Delete Letter

Sending a pay for delete letter to a collection agency is quite straightforward. Follow the steps listed below.

  1. Review your credit report to find the address of the agency.
  2. Start by sending a debt validation letter. This will give you an accurate idea of the information they have about the account and the amount you owe.
  3. If the collection agency has good documentation, such as a bill of sale, canceled check copies, and statements, you can send a pay for delete letter.
  4. State your offer clearly in your letter and mention that you are willing to pay the amount in full or the partial amount if they agree to remove the account.
  5. Highlight the benefit they’ll receive by accepting this offer.
  6. Once you’re happy with the letter, send it to the collection agency.

Tips on Negotiating an Agreement

When you send a letter for a pay to delete agreement to a collection agency, you are essentially trying to strike a deal with them. Follow the tips listed below to increase your chances of success:

  • Be polite in the letter as well as in any other communication you might have with them.
  • Do not send the letter before you check the statute of limitations on your debt. If your debt is old and there’s not much time left before the statute of limitations passes, it doesn’t make sense to send a pay for delete letter because it can restart the clock.
  • Take a closer look at your finances to determine how much you’ll be able to offer to the collection agency. If your request is accepted, you’ll only have a little time on hand to make the payment.  
  • Keep a copy of any letter you send to the collection agency. If the agreement is accepted, keep a copy of the payment proof and always use registered mail or another delivery confirmation system to send the payment.

Letter of Deletion vs. Paid in Full Letter 

A letter of deletion is a letter that the collection agency or lender sends to the credit bureau. The letter states that the negative collection item was an error and should be removed from the credit report. The item may be removed from the credit report when a credit bureau receives the letter.

A paid-in-full or a letter of payment is a letter that lets a credit bureau know that you have paid a debt in full. This does not remove the account from your credit report, and it may still hurt your credit score.

Legal Advice on Pay For Delete Agreements with Debt Collectors

Accounts in collection stay on your credit report for seven years. If your account is already old, you may not want to send a pay to delete letter. Another thing to note is that these agreements are quite rare. Credit reporting agencies discourage the removal of accurate information from the report because lenders are obligated by law to report complete and accurate information.

If you do send a pay For delete letter, the collection agency or lender is not obligated to respond or accept the offer.  

Templates and Examples of Pay to Delete Letters

There are several online resources where you can get access to free templates of pay for delete letters. Look for one that suits your circumstances, such as whether you are sending it to the original creditor or to a collection agency. Here’s a quick sample pay for delete letter you can customize for your use:

<Your Name>

<Your Address>

<Your City, State, and Zip Code>

<Collection Agency’s Name>

<Collection Agency’s Address>

<Collection Agency’s City, State, and Zip Code>


Re: Account Number <XXXXXXXXXXX>

Dear <Creditor’s Name>,

This letter is in response to your [credit report entry/call/letter] on [date] about the debt referenced above.

Please be aware that this isn’t an acceptance or acknowledgment of the debt. This isn’t a promise of payment unless you respond. However, I’m ready to compromise in exchange for your agreement to the terms listed below in writing:

I’m offering a pay [$xx as debt settlement/ debt in full].

In return, you agree to remove the information related to this debt from the credit reporting agencies.

You agree to not report this debt as “settled account” or “paid collection.”

Should you accept the terms listed above, please send a signed agreement with the terms listed above on company letterhead. Once I receive the agreement, I will pay [$xxx] via [money order/ other mode of payment].

This offer will only be valid if I receive a response within fifteen business days. I look forward to your cooperation.


<Your Name>

<Your Address>

<Your City, State, and Zip Code>

Pay For Delete Letter Template

Whether you use the template provided above or any other template you found online, it’s important to customize it before sending. Here are a few important things to keep in mind:

  • First, make sure you add your name and address in full in the letter.
  • If you’re sending the letter to the original lender, include their name and address.
  • If you’re sending it to a collection agency, specify their name and address.
  • Make sure you mention the account number for the debt accurately in the letter to make it easier for the collection agency to verify and find your information on file.
  • List out your terms clearly and accurately. Specify whether you are offering to pay the account in full or a settlement amount.
  • Specify how much you’ll pay and through which payment mode.
  • Make sure to retain a copy of the letter and send it through certified mail with a return receipt.

Pay For Delete Charge-Off Letter

If you are unable to pay the total amount in full, you can negotiate a pay to delete arrangement for a charged-off account. This means you’re offering to pay a portion of your debt in exchange for them agreeing to remove the charge-off information from your credit report. Here are a few tips to follow:

  • When negotiating a settlement with a lender or collection agency, always be polite and upfront about your financial situation.
  • You’ll only be able to negotiate successfully if you can demonstrate that you are facing financial hardship and won’t be able to pay your debt.
  • Lenders are also more likely to accept your offer if you haven’t been making payments for quite some time or have several late payments.
  • Always specify in your letter that the collection agency needs to send an agreement in writing.

The Bottom Line on Pay to Delete Letters

Pay for delete agreements are rare today because of the changes in credit scoring models, FICO 9 and VantageScore 3.0. This means that while the account will still be on your credit files, it will do less damage than not paying the account at all. Resolving your collections accounts, whether it’s through a settlement offer or by sending a pay for delete letter, is always a better idea than defaulting because bad credit will make it difficult for you to get access to low-interest rates on new credit.