Using my ClickCiti MasterCard, I ordered a report from Experian, and received it a few days ago. I had frequently wondered why I got declined when potential creditors pulled the Experian report. Expecting the worst, I opened the envelope and found a frightfully simple answer. About four years ago, I had two delinquencies. One of them was charged off in 4/97, and the other...was bought in 2/2000 by an outfit called Gulf States Credit of Duluth, Georgia. These clowns did a hit-and-run on my reputation by claiming the account was opened in 2/2000 and charged off in 3/2000. In their haste, they then proceeded to litter the Experian report with four hard inquiries over the next four months. The primary effect of all this was to create the false impression that I defaulted on an account within the last year. Now that I see the damage, I understand how it could scare away the likes of Target. Although I'm saving more specific questions for a later time, I'm trying to figure out now what the best general strategy would be. Should I challenge the whole thing, hoping that these fly-by-night losers have lost interest and won't even bother to verify? Or should I challenge the date alone, and hope that Experian prefers to remove the whole thing? Should I challenge the derogatory item and the inquiries together, so as to emphasize the general negligence and carelessness of Gulf States Credit? Or should I focus on the derogatory item alone, and worry about inquiries later? Ironically, Gulf States Credit never even bothered to contact me. I think they were looking for a telephone number through which they could make a few quick threats. Unfortunately for them, I don't have a conventional telephone. Expecting a quick payoff but failing to obtain it, they quickly lost interest and walked away from the mess they made. The fact that I have never had any contact with them whatsoever increases my confidence in a favorable outcome. This whole thing should be incinerated in the Memory Hole as soon as possible.