How do I word a negotiation for a lump sum payment to settle an old collections account that is NOT currently on my credit report? And should I request validation if I am planning on negotiating a lower payoff? Short synopsis of my situation: I owe about $4900 of tuition to an old college due to a revoked scholarship. This is not a student loan - just an unsecured debt. I got the letter in the mail on Monday but I think it was sent about a week before that (I didn't check my mail - oops) so I think I have about 3 weeks left to request validation if I want to do that. The original debt is from 5 years ago (2011) but it was recently sold to a new collections agency. I have only heard about it once previously back in 2012 and nothing since until I got this letter 2 days ago. It is NOTon my credit report. My main questions are: Should I request validation when my intention is to try to settle for a fraction of the balance? Could a validation/verification hurt me or a settling process in this instance? My worry behind this is that in a case where I'm going to try to settle for less with a lump sum payment, maybe it is better to not have them dig into it too much? How do I word a negotiation for a lump sum payment? I know people focus on the settled in full vs paid in full but since it is not currently on my credit report does that even matter? Can they add it to my credit report after the fact? It's already 5 years old. Making a payment resets the SOL but does not reset the amount of time it can be on my credit report, correct? So even if they did add it now or after-the-fact it could only be on there two more years, right? Thanks in advance!