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Guidance needed.. fresh meat!(Kinda long, shortcut included)

New Member

Guidance needed.. fresh meat!(Kinda long, shortcut included)

-----------------------SKIP TO BOTTOM FOR QUESTIONS Smiley Happy----------------------------

Good evening everyone-

I'm 23 and I recently started caring about my credit score. I have a brief, but ugly, history thus far and am puzzled on what my next course of action should be.

In a nutshell I was 18 and didn't really care about trivial things as "bills" and "responsibility". Partying, girls and good times were all that was important(I still don't regret it. You only live once right?). Pretty common story I'm sure.

Anyways, Chase somehow trusted an 18 year old idiot with a tiny 200.00 credit limit. I later ran into some money and opened a secured card through my bank Wells Fargo in the sum of 3000.00 not really knowing why to this day.

Long story short, both accounts were charged off.

I looked at my Equifax/FICO report this evening and it shows that there are 4 negative accounts. One from Wells Fargo the other from Chase. The other two are the collection agencies I'm assuming. The Wells Fargo account I'm sure is tied to the Hilco agency and I have no problems with that one, it seems correct. But the Chase/Norfolk one is charging me 2320.00 combined. If an account is charged-off doesn't it mean the original credit provider(CHASE)sold my delinquent account to an agency(NORFOLK)? I owe both Chase and Norfolk? I find it hard to swallow as it will be the most expensive 200 bucks I will ever spend.

Here is rundown with what's in my report if I'm not making any sense to you.

Number of accounts 4
Number of accounts with balances 3
Number of accounts that are negative 4 (see Negative Items)
Total balance on all accounts $2,797
Length of credit history 4 years, 3 months

Account Balance
NORFOLK $1,544



So my questions are:

  • Is the above an error in my report or standard procedure?
  • I have two heavy fee based cards now. Is it better to near max and pay in full or small charges and minimum payments? Keep in mind I'm not too concerned with the money, just raising my score.
  • My FICO score is 588. It's near the top of the poor rating. Realistically, what would the time table be to reach say 620-650 assuming everything goes to plan?
  • Would paying off the two debts significantly raise my scores or would I be better off waiting them out?

If you're still with me, thank you. I really do appreciate it. Any feedback for a life newbie would be TREMENDOUSLY appreciated.

Message 1 of 2
Moderator Emeritus

Each time it is sold will result in a new ding on your re...

Each time it is sold will result in a new ding on your report. Just because it is with a collection agency doesn't mean it was sold but that an outside collection agency has been retained to recover the debt.  You can dspute the original but as long as it reads charged off they will continue to report the amount due as of charge-off date.
First of all NEVER let a card report maxed out.  Its a FICO score killer.  If you must use the card.  Either rotate the usage and the PIF or let it report once and the PIF BEFORE the statement due date.  Even though some cards report the balance as of the statement date, some actually repot the balance as of the reporting date.  That means that if you PIF before the statement date, lets use the 15th,  but rackup charges between that date and reporting date well throw the 30th in here.  The balance on the actual statement date of 0 may not be reported but the new charges between the 15th and the 30th.
Try to keep utilization between 10-30% reporting at all times.  The best way to find out when and how much reports is to get a three in one monitoring service such as TrueCredit until you know the patter and then cancel.  The scores are FAKO but it will give you an idea of how much and when is reportng

Message Edited by Brammy on 04-09-2007 09:53 AM
Message 2 of 2