I would try negotiating with the creditors as to how the settlement will appear on your credit report and/or how long it would appear on your credit report. I hear this is very hard to do but I am trying to do it myself. Good luck with it.
I fell behind on my credit cards right out of college and settled all of my credit cards one by one…..and I am still suffering the after effects of that decision. I would bite the bullet and pay the full amount on the cards….i didn’t realize how adverse of an affect settling would have on my credit score.
Again I am trying the following tactic to deal with too much credit card debt. I filed a complaint with the Better Business Bureau regarding the banks that I have too much debt with and told them that the settlement I wanted was a debt settlement with no negative markings on my credit report. I am still in the negotiating stage and we will see what happens. I will not settle until there is some compromise on the credit reporting.