Now you're probably a little more frustrated than you were when you started reading. Now you're thinking, "if I paid the collection off, why would it still be on my credit report in the first place!?". To answer that question, a creditor or collection agency is legally allowed to report a collection for the entire amount of time that the Statute of Limitations states, even if it is reporting a $0 balance. This is because creditors and lenders want an accurate display of your payment history. If you've had a collection in the past, even though it is paid, creditors/lenders want to be able to see what your financial behaviors and history look like. Which if you think about it, is a fair and reasonable request. If you were loaning out money, you'd want as much information about the spending habits and payment behaviors of those that you were loaning money to. Access to this information would ultimately lead to the decision of whether or not you were willing to accept the risk.