Q: I have been put on a hardship program with my credit card company.

I have made the reduced payments on time and now have a balance of $7000 left on the card. I may have enough money in about 2 weeks to pay this completely off.

If I do pay this in full will my credit report be clean and not show that I’m on a reduced hardship plan or does it stay on my credit for 7 years?

Thanks for your time and help.

A: Your credit history should show that the balance has been paid as agreed. Before you pay it off, however, you should contact the credit card company and ask them how they will report it if you pay off the debt in full. If you’re able to negotiate, you want it to say “paid as agreed,” and remove any information about the hardship program.

(By the way, have you checked your credit history to see how this has been reported thus far? You may wish to do that before you contact your credit company. You would also benefit from pulling a free copy of your credit history from AnnualCreditReport.com)

If you can pay off your debt in full, it will help you raise your credit score and improve your credit history. And, that’s a very good thing. Congratulations on being nearly debt-free.

But you should know that much information will remain on your credit history even when it’s paid on time. But having paid the amount owed in full and as agreed is much better than having the amount shown as unpaid or uncollected.

We have quite of bit of information on our web site on this issue. You can explore our topic page on credit and our videos that will give you insight into credit reports, fixing mistakes on your credit report and many other credit topics.

Watch the video about what to do if you find mistakes on your credit report.

Also, take a look at the following story Raise Your Credit Score By Improving Your Payment History.