In most states, the debt itself doesn't disappear until you pay it. According to the Fair Credit Reporting Act, debts can remain on your credit report for up to seven years, and in some cases, even longer. Paying off old debt is the most honorable and ethical thing to do, and it can also help you in the long run. Generally, if you have the funds to pay off a debt, there are few drawbacks to doing so.
Paying off old debt won't hurt your credit score, and even if the statute of limitations expires, you can still pay off the bill. Most negative items on your credit report, such as unpaid debts, cancellations or late payments, will be removed from your credit report seven years after the date of the first late payment. Credit card debt doesn't go away, but its consequences can only last for seven years. Payment history is the most important factor in a credit score, so eliminating old credit card debt can have a big impact and significantly increase your score.
If you have the means to pay off an old debt, it's worth considering. Tagged in Debt Strategies, Debt Collection, Build Your Credit Score, Understand Your Credit Report.