These two companies had not tried to collect after the 90 day delinquency. When I called to see if for some reason the accounts were still open (I had never closed them and they were listed as a CHARGE OFF on my credit report), the creditors told me both accounts were closed. Because I was trying to get a mortgage (as I stated earlier), I paid the debts and requested that they be reflected as a PAID CHARGE OFF. They did this, and it updated the last activity AGAIN (the date on that being 9/96. Both are still listed on my credit report (one on equifax, the other on experian). By the way, I still got the mortgage. Now if the rules have changed, that's fine. But legally, from the date of last activity (being a charge or payment), that account can be reported for 7 years. But since I have a mortgage (and paid on time) other credit offers have come. First slowly, then you get them every month. When I initially got into trouble, I was fresh out of high school. I have since learned the value of credit, and am not learning the how to play the game. Too many inquiries is a generic excuse. I apply for 10 cards today, and still get three (mind you, not the first three). There are so many excuses they try to give you, but the bottom line is your ability (or rather your proven ability)to pay your bills. You can have a 50% debt to income ratio and still qualify for credit/loans. It's all a game.