Paying off a past due account is an important first step to improving your credit history, and although the account will still be considered potentially negative, you may see your credit score improve once the account shows it has been paid. The account itself will remain on the report for seven years from the original delinquency date, but the longer ago the late payments occurred, the less it will affect your credit score.
Aside from the potential to raise your credit score, the fact that the account is now paid will be helpful should you ever need to apply for a loan. Most lenders will require that any past due debts on your report be paid in full before extending additional credit.
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Scoped on: 03/29/2016