Last year I tried contacting the collection agency I got the last notice from, but they had gone out of business. I then called the guarantor who said my loan was at NCO. I called NCO, and they said they had just received the accounts from North Carolina, and they couldn't find mine. In February I called again & they had my records. I didn't have the money to pay it off at the time, but I paid $200 and told them my plan to get a loan to pay the balance. I was sick of having it on my conscience & wanted it paid off. At this point, they started calling me repeatedly at work. I got a letter saying my account had been reported to a major credit bureau, but that was 3 months ago, and nothing yet, although they did an inquiry on TransUnion end of June. The most recent letter was about 6 weeks ago and it said they were in the process of checking my financial background to see if I am able to pay the debt, whatever that means. I now have the money to pay off the loan, but I'm worried that my paying it off will trigger the report to the CRAs. How much negotiating room do I have? Should I call the guarantor & refuse to work with NCO? I'm tempted NOT to pay them just to see how things play out. I'm in good shape with my credit report right now, and I'd rather not make things worse by doing the right thing. Thanks very much for any insight or help.