My question involves collection proceedings in the State of: Georgia.
Hello, so in February of 2012, I got a lease for an apartment which I ended up breaking the lease for a few months later for reasons. They never contacted me about this, and the first communication I had was from the collection agency they had given my case to. My credit report shows that was opened in August of 2012 (5 years, 9 months ago). I've not been in a position to pay anything towards this until recently, and I am now ready to get it paid off and clear up the last derogatory remark on my credit from my younger years.
My issue is that I've dealt with other creditors in the past who were willing to set up payment plans for me to pay off things I owe them, but these people are not willing to do that. I've spoken with them before and when I offered to go ahead and put forward $500 towards the debt and keep doing that until it was paid off, they were less than receptive to the idea. They offered a "settlement" that was only a few hundred dollars short of the full amount if I paid it all at once, but I did not have that kind of money available to me at the time.
Now, my understanding is that they cannot legally refuse any money I send them. So, if I sent them $500, they have to accept it and put it towards the amount owed, or I can dispute the debt altogether. I may be horribly misinformed and would love some clarification if this is wrong. I also want to know, is it better to pay towards the amount over the course of the next few months until it's gone, or save the full amount they want and pay it off in one go? Is either way more beneficial? What should my ultimate steps be with this? Please let me know if I need to clarify anything further, and thank you in advance for your help!
Also, I cannot feasibly wait for it to hit the 7 year mark, as my boyfriend and I are moving forward in our relationship and I need to have good credit for reasons.