Taking a hit on your credit score when you settle a credit card debt may be preferable to letting the debt stand unpaid.
Every time that you negotiate a one-time amount to pay off a credit card debt you are essentially trying to settle the debt. Settling a debt almost always has a negative impact on your credit score as you pay the lender a lesser amount than what you agreed upon earlier. Paying of a credit card as a settlement is different than paying off as a part of a debt management plan with a credit counselling service. Paying a credit card as a part of the debt management plan may not necessarily have a negative impact on your credit score.
However, if you do not intend to charge the credit card in the near future taking a hit on your credit score may be preferable to be under debt and risk being hounded by a collection agencies if the lender charges off your account. Additionally, once you are out of bed with a credit card that is straining your finances every month you may be able to make payments on others loans on a more timely basis and that will help you build a positive credit history from then on which will mean that you will be ready to qualify for further credit in the future.