Ok, I recently got my credit reports from all three credit bureaus, and they're showing that I'm in default by approx. $4,000. I was careless and neglectful for a few years, and I want to pay off everything and start bringing up my credit score. I'll be dealing with 7 or 8 different creditors. But I need some tips before I begin.
Here's my situation: I've set aside $2,500 that I hope will pay off everything. I don't want to have to make monthly payments. I just want to get this all behind me and start over. Can I reasonably expect to be able to offer a smaller, lump sum to each creditor and have them mark the account as paid? For example, if I owe $800 to Widgets, Inc, I offer to give them a one-time payment of $400. Do they usually allow this kind of negotiation? If so, should I make the first offer, or wait and see what they offer?
By the way, we're talking about debts that are two to three years old.
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