Need help getting started
02-06-2013 10:52 PM
Hello everyone, after some bad life choices that I have finally recovered from I would like to begin repairing my credit before it destroys the rest of my life (I am 23).
Currently on my credit report I have a charged off citi bank credit card that has gone into collections as well as several medical bills in collections and what I believe is an out of state speeding ticket. I also have some student loans which are currently in a forbearance. Last I checked my score was a 570.
I was just approved for an unsecured capital one credit card with a low credit limit and high (24% or so) APR. I plan to use this to basically purchase a tank of gas or so per month and pay the balance in full to begin establishing a positive history with a creditor.
Im unsure as to where to begin or how to negotiate the pockmarks on my credit report. I am planning on returning to college so I am not concerned about the student loans as they will be a non factor until I graduate. I am working with a limited income but have few expenses as I still live at home. Mainly my questions are as follows,
Do these collection accounts continue to lower my score the longer they are on my report?
Do I attempt to negotiate with the initial creditor first or simply begin with the collection agency?
What do I do about the charge off? I cannot afford to pay it off in one shot and it is a large balance (around 4000 $). The collection agency is offering to settle it for around 1500. Is it better to enter a long term arrangement and pay it in full or should I just settle it? Some people are also suggesting I wait until it falls off my report before pursuing it as doing anything now will cause the 7 year period before it is removed to begin all over again, I am very confused about all of this and am having trouble finding any concrete answers about what the best way to proceed is.
Im basically looking for a general plan of attack to begin fixing all these problems. I understand this will not be a quick process and am not looking for a quick fix. I didn't get into this trouble in a month and I don't expect to be clear of it for a long time.
Thanks everyone for your consideration and time.