New Contributor
Posts: 94
Registered: ‎03-25-2008
Re: Success Stories and Encouragement

Check the dates on that Midland listing. They like to play with them. I have one where they show the account having been opened about 3 years after it became delinquent. Midland usually collects accounts that they have bought someplace. I don't know if they ever collect for another owner or not. They seem to like to "Open" the account when they bought it, if not even later, and they'll often put the date you paid them as the Date Of Last Activity. That DOLA MAY be legal, I don't know, But I do know they have to use the delinquency date from the original account. The FCRA says listings have to drop off 7 years and 6 months after the delinquency date. On the other hand, Equifax says in their explanations that they drop things 7 years after the DOLA. If the last activity or delinquency dates are wrong on your Midland account, you need to get them fixed so that the listing will go away when it should. If they're wrong, write the original creditor and ask for correct dates. Then use that response to try to get the CRA to change the dates. If all that doesn't work, and incorrect dates are going to keep it on your report too long, respond to THIS post, and I'll tell you how to get it fixed for certain, at least with Equifax.

By the way, a hint for folks whose scores get good enough. If you're at all like me, when you finally get over 700 (I just reached it on all 3 of my reports on Friday the 13th!!), you'll have a few things you've wanted to do, but didn't dare because you might not get approved, and adding useless inquiries to your reports would slow down your score increases.

I recently paid down my revolving debt from 89% to about 12% (INCREDIBLE score jump from that!!) including zeroing out 4 "bad" cards I'd gotten when my credit was shaky. You know - some cost $150 to $250 to get, then crazy interest rates and fees, and cost you $5 to $15 a month even if you have NO balance, and the "better" ones didn't cost up front, but still have ridiculous interest, low limits ($300 - $500), and monthly fees even if you charge nothing at all. When my credit got good, I couldn't just close them - I would have lost their credit limits, and it would have hurt my revolving debt to credit ratio, bringing my score back down. I had to replace their limits with the limits from something else, before I closed the old cards.

My credit union only uses Experian, unless it's a mortgage, then they pull all 3, and after my paydowns got me close, I reached 701 on EX on May 30. I went to the CU, asked a couple questions, and applied for the highest limit they normally let anyone have on a first application, $2,000. Approved. By June 13 I reached 700 on all 3 reports. But, I was only at 710 on EQ, and just a few higher on TU. Since I just opened a small installment loan at the CU in April, I knew that when the new CU VISA hit my reports in July, I'd lose points, and I'd likely be under 700 again for a few months. But it hadn't hit the reports YET.

I had wanted an American Express card (I figured for a long time that when I got another AMEX I'd know my credit had become good again.), and the truck needed tires and a little body work. I applied for the AMEX, and was approved. I hung up the phone, and went to the tire store (where I'd been turned down twice in '07), was approved and got 4 new tires. Then I went to MAACO, who advertises 12 months interest free credit for body work, but it turned out you have to apply for a Chase credit card, and he wouldn't be able to get an answer until Monday the 16th. But I'm pretty sure I'll get approved.

THEN I'll have a total of 5 new accounts since April, although the tire store MAY be classed as installment instead of revolving, I'm not certain, and there's NO doubt I'll be below 700 again. But I went ahead and got everything I needed before that first VISA from the CU got onto the reports to drop my score, so it doesn't matter that I'll drop back into the 600s. By the time I need any new credit, it'll have been more than long enough to get back into the 700s.

And that's the hint. If you break 700 by just a few points, go ahead and get whatever you'll need for the next about 6 months as quickly as you can, so none of the new accounts get to the reports in time to drop you back down.