In order to learn how to remove collections from your credit report, you must first understand what a collection is. When you stop paying on a bill, the company will continue to send you statements each month waiting for payment. When 6 months have gone by without a payment, the account is then sent to collections. Some companies wait a little longer than that, but 6 months is the normal time frame.
Sending an account to collections is the creditors last hope for recovering their money. At this point they have already tried calling you multiple times, and have sent you several notices about your account being behind. Some creditors have their own in house collections department, while others outsource their collections accounts with collections companies.
Sometimes the account is sold off to collections companies for pennies on the dollar. Usually if the account is still maintained by the original creditor and they have contracted with a collections company to recover the money, they are paying the company a percentage of what is recovered.
Now that we have covered that, let's get into how to remove a collection from your credit report.
In order to remove an entry about an account that has gone to collections, you must dispute it. You have to do this by sending a dispute letter to the credit bureaus which are reporting the account. You have to send the same dispute letter to each of the bureaus that identifies the entries you are disputing and why you are disputing it.
When the credit bureaus receive your letter they will open an investigation. They are going to contact the company who made the entry and let them know you have challenged the entry and the reason you gave for challenging it. They will then ask for evidence that the entry is valid.
If the debt is pretty old chances are the company does not have immediate access to those records. The records are probably in storage somewhere. If that is the case there is a very good chance they do not want to waste any more time or money with your account. If that is the case they will not respond to the credit bureaus request, and the credit bureau will have to remove the entry from your credit report.
If the company sends proof of the entry, this is referred to as being "verified." This does not mean you can't get the entry removed though, it just means you are likely going to have to pay it off, or negotiate a lower payoff amount. Just paying it off however will not remove the negative entries from your credit report. In order to get the negative entries removed, you will need to negotiate the removal as part of the deal for you to pay them.