Credit reports can sometimes seem as if they need to be decoded by an expert, but much of the reporting is fairly straightforward. What that means for settled accounts and paid off collections is that the information shows up as is.

In other words, if you settle a debt, it will show up on your credit report as a settled debt. Unfortunately, since that means you paid less than you owe, this isn’t always a good thing (though it does enable you to move on from a debt that you might not have been able to close out otherwise). And for a paid off collections account, it will show up on your report as an account that’s been in collections but has since been paid off.

Although it might seem as though these actions of settling and paying off account would help them suddenly drop off your report, that won’t be the case. But credit scores have been changing over the years to be kinder to consumers who’ve had a few missteps. That means your paid off collections account might not be taken into consideration on your credit score, though it will still appear on your credit report for a period of time.

Want to know more? Read here to find out what negative items look like on a credit report.