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08-06-2009 03:18 PM - edited 08-06-2009 03:25 PM
I am fairly new to this forum. I have been lurking for several weeks, and last week, I pulled my FICO score (from Score Watch) and came to grips with reality, which is that my credit is Good with a score of 689, but I would ideally like for it to be above 700.
I have no collections on my account, just a few "dings" which are fairly old at this point. My issue is the level of credit card debt that I have, but I am working on resolving that, and anticipate having a $0 balance on 2 of my 3 cards in the next 6 months. One will be Paid in Full by the close of 2009.
This is my problem. Of my 4 "dings", I have the following
1 30 day late and 1 60 day late from 2003 on an Express Card. This card currently has a 0 balance. Not American Express. I am talking about the clothing store.
1 30 day late from 2003 on a Chase card. This card currently has a $4500 balance on a $5100 credit line. This is the 1st card that I intend to pay in full.
1 30 day late from September 2004 on a Gap card. This card has $0 balance on a $1200 credit line.
These are my questions/concerns. Please offer any corrections or advice as to what I want to do.
I thought that I would try to GW the Express card. I am under the impression that "baddies" fall off of your credit report after 7 years, correct? I am VERY close to that 7 year point, so I wanted to call Express directly to see if they could remove that type of information over the phone. I do not have my account number (but I obviously have my SSN), so I called Express. Apparently, my account has been closed with Express for inactivity (not surprising, as I have not used the account in about 6 years). However, my concern is this...my information is not even in their system anymore. Does it make sense to try and GW these 2 "baddies" if they are going to be removed in 7 months ANYWAY? How would I go about writing a GW letter? If/When this information is removed from my credit report, how much of a potential score increase could I see?
I then decided to call Gap to see about a GW from them over the phone, considering that my "baddie" from them was from over 5 years ago (or close to it). They told me to write a letter to the FCRA bureau in El Paso, TX. Is that correct? Should I try to write a GW letter to them?
Finally, I am hoping to GW the Chase account in December once it is PIF. I will be paying off roughly $5000 in CC debt by that time. Hopefully, they will be good enough to remove that negative information.
And I just want to make sure...I do not want these accounts to be removed from my credit report, I just want the negative information pertaining to those accounts to be removed, correct?
My husband and I are looking to refinance our mortgage early next year, so I am trying to move down SOME of my debt.
Any assistance or other advice that any of you can provide is very much appreciated.
08-06-2009 06:18 PM
Be specific in your GW about what you are requesting--just the derogatory information. But you are taking a risk that they will just go ahead and delete. Plenty of GWs gone bad around here. Lots of samples available, so worth taking a look at, but really, write your own and tailor tailor tailor it to your situation. You're asking them for a favor, so keep the tone friendly. Don't include any legalese, and just mail it with a stamp (not CMRRR--too official).
You'll get a good bang for your buck when you pay down that $4500. You're almost maxed out on that card, so your utilization is suffering.
Unclear what GAP is telling you to do. You should not write the CRAs to dispute something that is reporting correctly.
I wouldn't bother with the GWs to Express. You're so close, I wouldn't fool with it. But hey, maybe they'll delete early keeping you on track for 1Q2010. Lots of things go into the score. You'll probably gain some by losing an account with negatives on it, but you could lose points if the loss of the account affects the average age of your accounts. You get credit (well, points anyway) for having old accounts, even if they're bad (or CA) accounts. So keep that in mind.
You can do some research on other folks' experiences with your creditors by popping in the names to the search box in the upper left corner of your screen.
08-06-2009 07:59 PM
The lates dates that old mostly are not having much if any impact on your score.. The 4500 balance most likely is impacting your score to some degree. Look at the credit report and the scoe reasons. The score reasons are listed in the order of what is influencing your score.
08-07-2009 06:32 AM
Thank you so much for your feedback. My score is 150% negatively impacted by my utilization, which I am working very diligently at paying off. 6 months ago, they were all at 100% util (stupid shopping), but I'm working very aggressively right now at paying everything off.
I hope to see a relatively nice score increase by the end of the year when 1 card will have 0% util.
I'll still have 2 remaining cards with balances, but paying off debt is better than getting new debt.