I need some advice on what I should do about an old credit card account. I opened up a card in 02' and backpacked around Europe with it as a student. It had a $500.00 limit and I maxed it out. I went back to school and I couldnt afford to pay it and once I moved I basically had forgotten about it. I checked my credit and I found something from a company called Unifund, which I researched and found out they purchase delinquient debts for pennies on the dollar. I contacted them today and they informed me that the account was opened in '02 it defaulted in 04'. They told me my balance is now $2,303.81 because it has been accruing interest at 28.74% the entire time. I asked what I can do and they said I had 30 days to pay a one time payment of $1,843.00, if not it will continue to get charged interest until the entire balance is paid in full.
I do not have the ability to pay this amount in that timeline. What are my options on this old debt? Should I do whatever I can to pay the amount asked by the end of thirty days, try to talk them down more, or not pay at all? Is there anything else I can do? I am pretty stressed out to think I owe so much on $500 that I charged years ago. I am trying to clean up my credit score and that is the biggest hurdle in way. I appreciate any help I can get on this. Thank you very much in advance for your advice.