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My wife and I will be purchasing our first home at the end of this year. Right now my fico credit score is 686. I have a few revolving credit accounts that are paid-in-full each month. I have about $8,000 in student loans and am currently attending graduate school. That is as far as my debt goes. My wife has about the same with respect to student loans but also has about $5,000 left on a car loan. She has a few unpaid medical bills and her score is a few points less than mine.

I have a medical bill for $175 that was reported in 06/2000 that is listed as "unpaid." I assume that will drop off my report in 2007. If I pay this bill and have it listed as "paid," how much of an effect will it have on my credit score? If it does affect my score, is it worth doing to attain a lower mortgage rate? Also, if paid, is there any possible way to get it expunged from my report?

thanks for any insight,
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