Why is it that paying off collections can negatively impact your credit?

I’ve read conflicting information about paying these off. It makes it hard to get a low rate for a car, to get an apartment or to get a mortgage if they aren’t paid. So why is that I read not to pay these? I had many! Just was never taught about money and learned through trial and error. So I’ve began paying them. Some companies have deleted them and some refuse. Will the collections come off my credit report in 7 years from the date they were applied to my credit or 7 years from the date I paid them?

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