The idea here is moving unaddressed debt to addressed debt. We all have debt. But you must be in a repayment plan for each debt. Technically the SF86 is set up so that any “Yes” answer on the financial page requires explanation on the next where you explain your repayment plan. You do not want any unaddressed debt. Call, negotiate, work out a minimum payment, and make it happen. If you send in a payment and wait for it to process and have the ability to send another, and another spaced about 10 days apart, you can show a tend of making payments. My experience shows it takes about 3 to 4 before you get a good bump in payment score. 650 is fair credit. 630 has dings, below 600 and you have a radioactive something on there burning a hole in the score. It could be as simple as owing the cable company $5 when you switched to a new company. They have a tendency to not write it off and keep it showing as money owed.