Will paying off collections hurt or help your credit score is a constant debate in order to build your credit score. Should you pay them off, settle or let them age out? The answer largely depends on your situation.
In terms of paying the collections off, you need to assess the immediate need. Are you applying for a mortgage? A car loan? A student loan? If there is an immediate need to clear the debt then you should look at the best possible ways to do it.
However, if time is not a factor, then I always advise a client to play the time game with the collections debts and they become the LAST item negotiated to pay. It is possible to build your score with a few collections accounts on your credit report but it’s certainly not ideal.
Don’t let any loan officer convince you to pay something you don’t need to. Always consult a professional outside of the purchase to see the bigger picture! The goal of the loan officer is to get the deal done. Their answer may not always be the best solution!