Paying collections doesn't raise your credit scores. What it does do, is stop the collection company from "refreshing" the negative item. This typically happens monthly. You'll find out how often they refresh the account by looking at your credit report. It will show date last active or date last reported.
So to help your scores, you need to have the account deleted from your report. At time of payment on the collection, request a deletion letter in exchange for payment. Not all collection companies will do this, but still ask.
The most immediate positive effect you can have with your credit scores is to pay down or pay off your credit cards. Pay them down below 30% of their limits, pay off for the most positive impact to your scores.
Once you do this, have your lender "rapid rescore" the balance. If your lender doesn't offer rapid rescoring, contact me and I can get it done direct with the credit bureaus.