That Shouldn't Be Reported

David knows that debts can be sent to collectors and put on a credit report; but what about a late fee?

QUESTION: David is 23 and has $6,000 in debt. He pulled his credit report and saw there was something on there about a vandalized car, insurance payments and late fees. Interest and principal were paid on it, but it says he still owes $300. Are they allowed to send late fees to a collector?

ANSWER: Sure they can. The payments were paid late. You can’t get it removed but you can get it paid. Call the collections agency and try to settle the $300. Explain to them what it is and tell them that you can give them $100, but they need to make this go away and get it off my credit bureau report. They can remove it completely if they choose to. They are supposed to report what actually happened; in this case there were late fees that were unpaid and you paid them. You can mess with them and see if you can get them to take it off.

Get it in writing from them that this settles the debt in full and that they’re going to take the whole entry off your credit bureau report because it really shouldn’t be on there.

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