Newbie with various and sundry questions

Discussion in 'Credit Talk' started by agathaword, Sep 13, 2010.

  1. agathaword

    agathaword Member

    After reading through the glossary and primer, I have several leftover newbie questions.

    BACKGROUND: I ordered all 3 reports through "Triple Alert," a credit monitoring service. They arrived all together on one page.

    The report is formatted with the regular information listed at the left in rows ("Account Name, Acct #, Acct Type, etc.) and then data from each one of the CRAs listed in columns running down the page.

    After reading this 3-in-1 report, I have several leftover questions.

    1. Current Employer and Previous Employer are blank. Should I update with all three CRAs?

    2. 8 addresses-- everywhere I've ever lived-- are listed. 2 others are my grandmother's address. Should I update with the CRAs (i.e. should only my current address be listed?)

    Now the meat of the issue...

    3. Several accounts under my "Account History" have NO NAME: the "ACCOUNT NAME" field is just blank. No OC listed, no CA listed.

    There is one variation: on several entries, the CA name (Attorney's Office) _is_ listed on Experian, say, but not for Equifax or TU. As I explained above, the 3-in-1 formatting allows me to see that the account numbers match-- HOWEVER, for a few entries, there's no creditor or CA listed at all-- just an acct #, acct type ("Collection Account") a date open, and a balance. That's it. How do I identify the OC or CA?

    4. On this report, only "Date Open" is listed, not "Date Reported." Is this usual? Don't I need to know "Date Reported" to make sure it falls off 7 years from this date?

    5. Do collection accounts listed as "Paid" lower your credit score (I have several of these I simply paid off in the past before I knew about debt negotiation)? How about those annotated as "Paid, was a collection account, insurance account, insurance claim or govt claim or was terminated for default"? Or the variations: "Payment after charge off/collection" and "Paid collection"?


    I was left an inheritance about 3 years ago and paid the collection agency collecting my student loans over $20,000 (the entire amount, since at that time I understood student loans "never went away" and couldn't be negotiated down). All of my student loans were in default at this time. They had been administered by CALS, Sallie Mae, and CT Student Loan Foundation.
    Now for the questions:

    6. These old education loans (paid off through the CA) remain on the report-- 18 items in all, listed in the names CALS, Sallie Mae, or CT Student Loan Foundation, with various amounts. The statuses say "Claim filed with govt for insured portion of balance on loan," "Charged off as bad debt," "Govt secured guaranteed," "PAID COLLECTION STUDENT LOAN," "DEFAULTED LOAN - CLAIM FILED AGAINST GUARANTOR."

    Now the question!

    Is it possible to have these negative items removed? What do they mean? How do I find out date of last activity (is it when I paid the $20,000 to the CA)?

    7. In general, how to resolve an item that is listed as "charge-off" (can you still pay?)

    8. Should my cell phone company be reporting my on time payments (they're not...)?

    THANK YOU, in advance, for any and all answers.
  2. agathaword

    agathaword Member

    PS: Should add an addendum. Just read about the nutcase/goodwill letters for paid collections and may well try them for the charge-off and paid collections. Also-- in general, I should clarify that my general strategy is to go straight to negotiating settlement offers with CAs since the amounts are so small (i.e. debt verification just isn't worth $30 here and there). Thanks again.
  3. JoshuaHeckathorn

    JoshuaHeckathorn Administrator

    Welcome to the forum!

    1.) I wouldn't bother. They don't affect your credit scores, and they should update on their own at some point.
    2.) Only dispute incorrect addresses. I wouldn't worry about it if they are all correct - they have a right to be on there.
    3.) That's strange. The OC/CA's name should be listed. Isn't there a phone number or anything?
    4.) Negative marks like collections generally fall off 7 years after the date of delinquency. That's the date you should be looking for, and it should be listed on your reports.
    5.) Yes, paid collection accounts basically hurt your credit score as much as an unpaid collection account.
    6.) If there are errors relating to the paid off student loans, dispute them through the CRAs. However, it sounds like they may be reporting correctly since they were all in default and then you paid them off.
    7.) If you've paid a CO, you can always try to convince the original creditor to remove it by writing a goodwill letter. However, keep in mind that they have no obligation to remove a CO, because that's exactly what it was when they sold the debt to a CA.
    8.) No, most cell phone companies will only report if you get behind on payments and they turn you over to collections.
  4. agathaword

    agathaword Member

    Thank you!
  5. JoshuaHeckathorn

    JoshuaHeckathorn Administrator

    You're welcome!
  6. agathaword

    agathaword Member

    You've been so helpful-- I hate to bother you again, but have some nagging issues as I begin to get things into gear. I PM'd you, but will post here in case it benefits someone else:

    Some follow-up questions:

    1. Which would you recommend of
    a. secured CC
    b. subprime CC
    c. prepaid credit card (are there any that report to credit bureaus?)

    2. Should I apply for this card before I begin contacting CAs?

    3. If I'm not approved for b. (right now I'm at 569) is it worth it for the hard inquiry damage to my credit?

    4. In settling, I've heard that you should not admit the debts are yours to a CA. True? What type of language should I use?

    5. If I get a suitable offer on the phone (I'll start at 30%), I will send a PFD. When I get the agreement back from them in writing, I'll send a cashier's check. Then: how long should I wait to verify the item has been deleted?

    6. How do you recommend monitoring your report to verify all the CAs have actually deleted the items? Is it worth it to subscribe to some sort of monitoring service with unlimited checks of your CR?

  7. JoshuaHeckathorn

    JoshuaHeckathorn Administrator

    No problem...that's what we're here for, to try and help.

    So here are my thoughts:

    1.) Prepaid cards won't help you build credit. With a score below 600, you could possibly get approved for bad credit credit card, but approval isn't guaranteed. If you're worried about getting approved, go the secured credit card route and build your credit that way. You shouldn't have to use the secured credit card for very long before you'll qualify for a better unsecured card with more appealing rates/terms and rewards.

    2.) I would worry first about cleaning up your credit reports as much as possible before getting any new credit.

    3.) Go the secured credit card route and you won't have to worry about this.

    4.) The point is you want the CA to prove that you owe the debt and they are the party you rightfully owe before you agree to pay any sum. So, simply avoid saying or writing anything that admits you owe them.

    5.) I recommend keeping any correspondence/negotiations with the creditor in writing, CMRRR. And if you want to negotiate a PFD or non-disclosure type of agreement, you're most likely going to have to pay in full these days. At least that's what I've been hearing here and elsewhere. But, you just never know. Every situation is different.

    6.) If you want to check your credit reports daily for an extended period of time, then signing up for a credit monitoring service is a good option. Make sure you sign up for one that offers you access to all 3 credit bureau reports, and read the fine print so you know exactly how much it will cost you each month.
  8. agathaword

    agathaword Member

    A million thanks. One question:

    You said "And if you want to negotiate a PFD or non-disclosure type of agreement, you're most likely going to have to pay in full these days."

    What do you mean by non-disclosure type of agreement, exactly? Thanks.
  9. billbauer

    billbauer Well-Known Member

    Just do a google search for the term [westcap endorsement] without the brackets and you will have your answer.
  10. JoshuaHeckathorn

    JoshuaHeckathorn Administrator

  11. agathaword

    agathaword Member

    Will do-- thanks so much.
  12. Hedwig

    Hedwig Well-Known Member

    As far as the accounts that don't show a name, it's probably because you got the 3-in-1 report. They take data from all the bureaus and try to stick it in the same fields when different bureaus may use different terms.

    You should get the three separate reports directly from each bureau. Hard copy reports are best.
  13. sandy24

    sandy24 Active Member

    Thanks a lot

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