Can credit repair get rid of the debts on my credit report, or should I consider debt negotiation?
There are two answers to your question. On one hand, nothing can, or should, get rid of the legitimate, accurate debt on your report; credit repair is not about wiping out accurate information.
A Shocking Statistic
On the other hand, more than fifty percent of all collection accounts on credit reports should not be there. These can and should be removed with credit repair. This may seem like a shocking statistic and is worth an explanation.
When an original creditor writes off an account, typically 180 days after the initial default date, they usually sell the debt to a collector. A collector is allowed to report the debt to the credit bureaus, as long as they own the account. But their account ownership may not last long. Over the recent decade it has become standard practice for collectors to “dump” non-productive debt – debt they are not able to collect.
Many collectors will sell non-productive accounts in only six months. At which time the new collector will try their luck and, like the prior collector, report the account to the credit bureaus. The debt market has become so liquid that this process of buying and selling collection accounts is virtually effort free; hence, your debt may be passed around at a surprising velocity.
The Disturbing Reality
The point of all of this is simple. Collectors are supposed to withdraw their reporting when they sell your account to a new collector. Theoretically, you should not have more than a single collector reporting a debt at time. Reality is very different. There is no incentive for a collector to cease reporting. And so you may end up with four or five redundant collection accounts, all spawned from the same original charge off.
Credit Repair Resolution
And, given the speed at which collectors now turn over debt, it is very possible that even the most recent collector to report no longer owns the debt. Duplicate collections are a sure sign of reporting errors, and even the most recent version may be a credit repair candidate.
To answer the second part of your question, before considering debt negotiation it always makes sense to examine the validity of the collection. Once you sort out the real from the erroneous, debt negotiation is a valid and valuable next step. But first thing first!