As a bankruptcy lawyer I can attest that in general many people spend entirely too much money trying to avoid perceived negative effects on their credit scores and/or reports (they're two different things). I'm not saying that one's credit is unimportant, but IMO its not worth thousands to stay in an unfavorable contract. Additionally, there are remedies available under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, when a report is challenged it is removed while the reporter has an opportunity to substantiate it, and in most instances they just can't be bothered to do so and the report never reappears. I can't count the number of times people in serious need for relief delay for months or years based on a false belief that the perceived effect on their credit will sound the death knell for their financial future. And that's certainly a perception that the financial industry encourages.