My husband has horrible credit, we would of course like to do things like qualify for a mortgage etc. so I, as the 'stay @ home wife', have undertaken the task of credit repair. He had a bankruptcy in '96, before I met him, which disheartened him and subsequently he has a long list of late payments on student loans and a credit card. My first task was to begin to bring the student loans up to date, this is going well. Now I am attempting to deal with our credit card company. We owe approx. $1200. We have taken a small loan against our 401K to cover this amount as it seems crucial to us to be rid of this debit. I purchased the "Fix Your Credit Workbook" by Bierman & Masten who advise that paying 100% of the debit is a powerful bargaining tool that could be used to gain us an "Unrated" account status. I called Providian today and attempted to negotiate this deal. I was told that they didn't know what I was talking about and that there was no way they could do something like that & that there was no one to transfer me to that could help. Did I want to provide them with payment now? I withheld payment as this seems to be my only bargaining tool. After the phone call I went on line and managed to find this site. I need help with strategy. Is there a specific department I need to contact? Magic phrases ; ) ? The sad part is that I don't mind paying them their $, I just want the black marks gone... is it a pipe dream...? Thanks for your time.