Maaan thats dedication!!!!! You Inspire Me!!!
There's no reason NOT to saturate a credit or collection agency with requests unless they tell you to cease and desist contacting them. If one person says no, there are probably another dozen (or hundreds) of other employees who you can contact. LinkedIn is a great resource for finding the names of those people and if you can get ONE person's email address and note the structure of how it's created (first name, last name, domain name) you can try to contact others by email. Same with faxing -- some credit companies have dozens of groups with dozens of fax numbers. Use them all over time.
With a collection agency or JDB, it's even more fun to call and talk to them about things. Using the "Do I have any new collections with you?" method is really fun because you know they're rolling their eyes and your phone call is seriously destroying their internal rating for amount of time spent on calls versus collection amount. Since your collection amount is $0, and they know you're going to call again and again and again to "check on any new collections", they're going to know their internal collection rating is going in the toilet when they know how many months ahead that item will continue to report.
It makes me laugh every time. I wish I could be a pro bono collection agency phone caller for everyone because I like doing it so much. Turn the tables on those harassing inbound phone calls for sure!
APR 28 brings up a good point.....
2/3 of your credit score is determined by algorithms that monitor your accounts that are open and actively reporting and this is the main reason why you'll often hear folks stress that paying your bills on time each and every single month is the best thing you can do for building and maintaining your score. Even if you pay those cards down below the 50% utilization ratio, i'd bet you'll improve your score.
If the utility and the collection are the only derogatory accounts in your profile and they total less than $500 I'd simply pay them off so that the sooner they report as $0 balance paid the better you'll be six months from now vs. this "kicking the can further down the road" but not settling anything. I'm of the opinion that if your creditors had valid claims against you, why not simply pay them off, keep your proof of payment as evidence to send to all three bureaus upon receipt and move on.
Playing games can waste a lot of time and you can't fight City Hall. Bob's Collection Co. doesn't mind wasting your time even though they want to get paid, heck, every time you contact a creditor they might be "updating" your account status and bringing it current again--nothing worse than a derogatory account punishing you again and again. (It's the theory of "you don't want to awaken a sleeping dog") but anyway.....it seems strange that your score is that low just because of 1x30 on a credit card a year ago and these two tiny collections.
just my $.02