i was just wondering what to do about debts you have in the past that you want to pay. does paying them improve your credit history? freshman or sophomore year or college, one of my credit card companies was bought out by another company and even though i had no late payments, they decided to cancel my account. i had about $500 and really could not afford to pay it. anyway, it went to a collection agency, is an ugly blemish on my account, etc., etc.. i have just graduated, i'm swimming in cash, and i can pay that off easily. if i contact the collection agency and pay the $500, will that have any affect on my score?