Although this is a very logical assumption, unfortunately it is not true. There is nothing logical about the credit reporting system. An item will actually appear on your credit report longer if you make a payment. This is because any activity causes the seven-year time clock to reset and begin again. Surprisingly, a negative debt that has been paid in full is not viewed any differently than a debt that has not been paid, and has a negative listing. In the majority of cases, when you don’t use professional help, you will not get too far by paying off the old debts. Regrettably you may sink even further behind.