Trying to get mortgage approval, NEED ADVICE!?

Before I explain, I want to stress that I DO NOT want any type of lecturing, and do not want to be criticized about credit scores.
My husband and I have been trying to get approved for an FHA home loan for about a month now. We have been working to improve our credit for the past 2 years. We have about $ 6000 saved up for a down payment. We have been working with a loan officer. My husbands middle credit score is about 610, loan officer suggested that we pay off 2 old collections (they are about 5 years old) he said if we paid them, it would increase our credit score to where it needs to be, and he would pretty much guarantee approval. So we paid both collections in full. Now I’m getting really worried after reading on several websites that paying old debts actually does the opposite to credit scores. He has been a loan officer for PNC bank for 20 years, and we were trusting his advice. Has anyone in the mortgage business have any advice??? Anything would be greatly appreciated.
Also I wanted to mention that the credit bureaus have already marked these debts as “paid in full”

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