Contact collectors directly? Do you just want to give general advice like that? I have a friend in the mortgage business and he constantly refers people to a credit repair company that solves their problems faster than they can do it themselves so they can get a home. I've heard that it shows that I've been able to handle credit and that my available credit isn't high, so my credit score should improve. I used to think that credit repair was an abusive practice and that people should do it themselves, but when you have a full-time job or an entrepreneur, you don't have time to deal with the details. Therefore, if you pay them to repair their credit, you are spending money that could otherwise be used to pay off their debts.
With that said, I was looking for credit repair solutions and found a business that could magically eliminate all the negative elements. They recently posted a secured credit card that uses your loan balance to get started, so it becomes another credit card on your report after 3 months. All they did was send letters on my behalf and the credit accounts I had returned my mail saying that a third party was trying to block my credit report. Pay your balances up to 30% of your credit limits or, if you have good credit, request an increase in the line of credit.
In 1992, I researched consumer credit laws, cleaned up my own credit, and wrote a book called The Consumer's Guide to Credit Restoration. I started a credit repair company after dealing with companies like Lexington Law and feeling like they were taking advantage of me. Canceling a collection account may not help your credit score and, in fact, could harm it, as it will likely age the account again and stay on your credit report for 7 more years.