How do I handle my collection accounts?

I want to pay off several credit card collections accounts. I want to handle them myself and not utilize a debt consolidation program because I’ve heard that a “settle” on your credit report still looks bad. How would I go about paying the accounts off AND having them removed? Also, do I have to pay the accounts in full to have the collections removed or can I just pay a high percentage of what is due. ( like 80% )
If the collection agency is willing to remove the collection from your account, will it look like I don’t have credit at all? I have one credit card that I am keeping open, but the others are closed already.
Any ideas anyone? I plan on being debt free by January. 🙂
I just said that I don’t want to use a debt management or consolidation agency….
I’ve heard that you can have the accounts removed, but that it needs to be in writing.
Supposedly, there is no law that prohibits a collection agency from removing it from you credit.

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