Credit Advice

Pay the collection agency, not the original account holder


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Credit Advice

Pay the collection agency, not the original account holder

Dear Experian,

I am trying to clean up my credit and wanted to know if it would make a difference if I paid the original creditor or the collection agency that took over?


Dear EXU,

You should always pay the legal debt owner, or organization responsible for the debt. That means your payment should go to the collection agency.

Collection agencies may collect the debt – or as much of it as possible – on behalf of the lender, or they may purchase the debt from the lender hoping to collect more than they paid for the account.

In either instance, the collection agency is responsible for receiving any payment you make toward the debt, and the original account holder is no longer associated with the debt.

On your credit report, the original account entry will have a status of charged off. That is considered a final status for the account and shows it is no longer active. The original account may also indicate to whom the debt was sold or transferred.

A new collection account will be added to your history. It may also show from whom the account was transferred or purchased. This collection account is now the active account for the debt.

Showing both the original account and subsequent collection or collection accounts provides a complete history of the debt.

Thanks for asking.

- The "Ask Experian" team

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