I guess the real question is did you declare bankruptcy on these debts. If you did in 5 years your credit will slowly get better. Do not pay anything. What I did was apply for a high interest credit card after 8 years and used it and paid it off monthly. Never late on anything. If you did not declare I would do it now and give them nothing. Now the clock starts over. Credit card companies will be sending you offers left and right hoping you'll default again as you cannot declare for another 10 years. Get a card use it and pay it off every month. It all just takes time. This past April was 10 years that I declared and my credit score ranges from 765 to 804 depending on which agency you ask. Good luck!