New to the site

Discussion in 'Credit Talk' started by PuuOoPaul, Jul 13, 2001.

  1. PuuOoPaul

    PuuOoPaul Well-Known Member

    Hi I'm a new member to this sight and have found alot of useful information. It's also a little overwhelming too as I don't know where to start.

    I've read a few entries about scoring and would like to know how I can obtain my own scores. Also how many inquiries on your cr reports are too many and when does their affect wear off?

    I applied for a Sears card in January with years of no credit and was given a $3100 limit. No one else on the planet has faith in me except for sears. No one will issue me a card. I pulled a cb from TU and Equifax and I do have two paid collection accounts with a combined total of $250 on utilities. One I paid this year after getting the Sears card and the other I paid off 11/99. How long do these stay on the report? The full seven years? I attempted to dispute them w/TU but they came back "verified as reported".

    Any suggestions?
  2. Reshod

    Reshod Well-Known Member

    Either try to dispute them again or contract the utility company directly and lay a sob story on them, explaining why your accounts went unpaid.

    Both of these routes have worked for members of this board.

    Good Luck and KEEP FIGHTING.
  3. bbauer

    bbauer Banned

    Not too many suggestions.

    You are in a bit of a tough shape at the present time because of those paid charge-offs.
    You shot yourself in the foot paying them off because now you do not have any rights under the FDCPA nor actually under the FCRA either. It isn't a collection account anymore, so you don't have much leverage to work with on those two.

    I'd say you should just keep on disputing them with the CRAs over time and hoping they will goof up.

    Your best bet is going to be to keep on trying to get some of the sub-prime cards and just keep on working towards getting enough good tradelines built up so that the good will overcome the bad in time.

    You may have to use the trick about getting loans using savings accounts at 3 banks trick which has been discussed at great length on this fourm.

    Another one you can use is to get some of the store cards or accounts like Fingerhut and others. Ones that give credit easily. Sure hate to see someone have to go out and buy all the world's dumb junk just to get some tradelines, but sometimes that's about the only way.

    Secured cards can work for you too if you simply can't get anything else going.

    Try to stay away from finance companies too, because they don't sit well with the better lenders.
  4. NanaC

    NanaC Well-Known Member

    Hi and welcome! Even though the self-help books "Like Nolo's Credit Repair" book are less than perfect, I strongly suggest that you begin by reading this board and a book like this. Don't do anything until you have info from this board, etc. but I started with that book and it at least gave me a good starting place. The Guerrilla Book To Credit Repair was also informative. You might just try the local library.

    Michael Kielsky (did I spell that right?) has a free downloadable kit that is a good starting place..does anyone here have that link??

    Everyone needs a starting point..for me, it was Nolo's book. I started there and made some mistakes but still made progress. Then, I used junum and it was extremely successful and now I'm on my own again and I know so much more, I'm doing a much better job.

    So, the suggestions from me, anyway:
    1) Read what you can
    2) Read this board doing searches of specific topics that you need info on
    3) Ask!

    Good luck,
  5. breeze

    breeze Well-Known Member

    Michael's site:

    read the information before you start - he has a very good, organized method for going about this.

  6. NanaC

    NanaC Well-Known Member

    Thanks, Breeze! This is really a good starting point - and free. :)
  7. PsychDoc

    PsychDoc Well-Known Member

    Hi, Paul, welcome! I'm certainly not an old-timer here myself, but I wanted to say hi and take a stab at your question too. As others said (with fewer words, lol) derogatory tradelines (bureau-speak for "info for a particular company on your credit file) can remain for 7 years. Bankruptcy-related items can remain for 10 years. Regardless, many here have seen success disputing the items (and redisputing the items) using one of several strategies. Too many inquiries (usually more than 4 during the last 4 months, more than 10 during the past year, or more than 15 during the last two years) can negatively impact your credit score (sometimes called "credit rating") as well. Inquiries usually remain on your CRA ("Credit Reporting Agency," or credit bureau -- sorry for all the defining if you already know all this, but I wish someone had done this for me, LOL) credit files for two years as well. Disputing those can be tougher than disputing regular tradelines (especially with Equifax and Trans Union), but it can be done as several here will attest. As for disputing methods, some take the do-it-yourself approach, and a good couple of days invested reading the archives here will pay off and net many sample letters to use. Others use companies to assist in doing disputes (sometimes called "credit repair"). Here are a few of those companies:

    -- Lexington Law Firm, the one I've used with great success. Their eClient program is the one I would recommend at $75 for the initial setup retainer, then $35/month flat fee thereafter for as long as you use them. Basically you order your initial set of credit reports, send them to your assigned paralegal, and they get to work disputing. The dispute results come to you, and you forward that back to your paralegal, and the next "round" starts, and so on. Their record of deletions through the years is very impressive, and their top-notch web site includes useful information even if you don't use them. Find them on the web here:

    -- Junum, another popular firm. Junum is not a law firm, and their tactics are similar in some ways (different in others, lol) from Lexington. There has been some concern expressed here lately by several that they have been accidentally disputing positive tradelines (tradelines with nothing negative). On the other hand, Junum repeatedly acknowledges the errors and says that they are working hard to get on top of that. Even so, MANY satisfied Junum users can attest to terrific results, some even crediting Junum for success in becoming homeowners, etc. They charge $14.95 per month (or $24.95 per month for a couple), PLUS $10 per deletion. Their web site is:

    -- Manhattan Legal Service looks like a Lexington clone but based in New York. I've not seen anyone here comment about their service, but their web site looks good for what that's worth. They charge an initial retainer setup of $75 (like Lexington) and then charge a flat $49.95 per month thereafter. Like Lexington, but unlike Junum, they don't charge an additional per-deletion fee. Their web site is:

    -- Bradley Ross is an apparently wonderful outfit with quite a few happy customers. They are a division of the non-profit After Bankruptcy Foundation ( I'm not sure how they work, but I suspect it's similar to Lexington, Junum, and Manhattan. They charge $60 per month flat fee. Here is their web site (don't leave off the "home.htm" or else you'll need the password, lol):

    -- The Law Offices of Jack L. Schrold. This Florida-based attorney is a thorn in the side of the CRAs because he's so damned effective. An older gentleman whose main purpose in life is to badger credit bureaus, he's like Bill Bauer on steroids (more about him next). His zealousness actually got him in legal trouble at one point; among other regulations, the law that credit repair personnel can't bill you BEFORE the services are rendered was enacted because of Mr. Schrold. Equifax wishes the man had never been born. Customers beg to differ. This legend (he was one of the first to do this kind of work, predating Lexington and Junum and the rest by many years) charges a flat fee of $49.95 per month with no up-front retainer fee and no per-deletion fees. His toll-free number is 1-800-929-3311, and his web page is:

    -- CreditWrench by Bill Bauer, noted genius, curmudgeon, and overall nice guy. If you've spent any time at all on this discussion board, you've probably encountered Bill Bauer, a.k.a "CreditWrench." For $49.95, he'll take you under his wing, consult with you by phone and email endlessly, provide incredibly good (and, amazingly, UNIQUE) letters which include his "secret" CreditWrench wording that really does seem to put creditors in a different mental space about the issues at hand. Armed with a few happy customers and a few good testimonials, Bill's tutelage, encouragement, and hands-on guidance are well worth the one-time fee he charges for his time. Bill is not an attorney, and he doesn't offer legal advice per se; you are invited to confirm anything you do vis-a-vis his suggestions with your own professional counsel. Even so, the guy's a creative original. A few of us have consulted with the old CreditWrench as well as utilized one of the credit repair firms; they coexist nicely since Bill focuses on creditors while the credit repair firms focus on the credit bureaus. Bill's web site is:

    Ok, I just wrote a novel! Once I got started I couldn't stop. Since I think this information may be useful to others generally, I'm going to excerpt it and post this part of it as a standalone posting on credit repair firms. Paul, good luck with your own efforts here!

  8. breeze

    breeze Well-Known Member

    Yes, Nana, he has great information there. He also answers personal emails for free. A true consumer advocate.

    Give his ads a few clicks ;)

    He is supposed to be a guest on a consumer radio show in CO on Sunday morning, but hasn't posted the station and time yet. Perhaps it will be available via net radio.

  9. Mist

    Mist Well-Known Member

    That was a wonderful post. BRAVO.
  10. PuuOoPaul

    PuuOoPaul Well-Known Member

    Many, many thanks to all of you for your time, input and support. I will be spending some time this weekend doing research on this sight. I made calls to both collection creditors today and asked them to remove the derogs.

    The phone co wasnt too cooperative but I will be following up with a letter. The electric company was a little more sympathetic and said they would let the collection agency know of my plight, but said that it will be up to the collection agency.

    Thanks once again for the info and support.


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