Should I pay off this old bill?
March 21, 2014 8:40 AM Subscribe
I have an unpaid bill from three years ago for about $200 that no one's trying to collect anymore. Doesn't seem to have shown up on my credit rating / reports. Is there any upside to paying it now? Is there any potential downside?
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (11 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
(to clarify, this is in the US)
So it's actually almost four years ago now: I dented the bumper of a rental car and my credit card coverage paid the damages ($300 or so). So far so good. But a month or so later I got another bill from the rental car company saying that the credit card wouldn't agree to cover their additional "loss of use" fee and they were holding me responsible for that.
I had every intention of paying them or at least calling them or the credit card company to dispute it, but I was in the middle of moving overseas and it slipped through the cracks. I got more letters over the next year or so -- I had my US mail forwarded to a mailbox -- first from the rental car company and then a collection agency. I would usually only check this mailbox every few months and I just never got around to dealing with it. After a while the letters tailed off and I haven't heard from the collection agency in more than a year.
Now I've just moved back to the US and am wondering if there's any upside to tracking down this collection agency and paying up. If it hasn't hit my credit report yet then it probably won't, right? Still it feels like the right thing to do on some level. But what if my debt is "re-activated" by my contacting them and they can tack on a lot more fees and/or cause a new hit to my credit?
Also, is it likely that I'm now blacklisted at this (major) car rental company? If so, would paying off the collection agency make any difference, or what would I have to do to correct that?