Paying Off Creditors with Lump Sums
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.
Any advice will be helpful. Thanks!