So, I have had bad credit for a long time, but now am pretty much free of debt - and still get turned down for most things I apply for. Recently I applied for a credit card and was surprised that my Experian credit score was 690, but I still had collections, delinquent accounts, and a lack of balances on open accounts - holding me back. I got promised free Experian credit report thanks to this letter and saw some things on it that were a surprise. For one thing I have collections for parking tickets they quit sending me mail about, that were rung up by the new owner of an old car after I sold it. I also have two collections for the amount of $1.00 each for hospital bills that were supposed to have been paid for.
I've read some of the credit improvement posts on here and discussions but I am totally confused by the abbreviations and other terminology used. I thought perhaps if I posted my credit report here with my personal information removed, I could get some advice? My most frustrating question is, how can I improve my credit without borrowing money (ie, opening new accounts / cards) ?
Hi and Welcome to the forums,
Here you go....Common Abbreviations.
Suggest reading The Son Of Credit Scoring 101. shows how scores are calculated, how to improve score etc.
Where did you get your EXperian credit score? Your EX FICO maybe different.
Start with pulling your FREE CR's from (ACR) annualcreditreport.com.
they tend to have more info on them, then ones from a 3rd party.
The CR's from ACR, come directly from each of the CRA's. You can pull 1 Free CR from TU,EQ and EX every 12 months.
Save your money and dont buy the scores, they are FAKO's.
Then come back and post your negative items ( it's what we call baddies).
Look to hear from you soon. I'll let others chime in with their advice.
OK, I've read Son of Credit Scoring 101 and understand some of the basics. To answer your question I got the credit report/score from Experian (thanks to being denied for a credit card). As for asking about individual items, I'll have to take it step by step so here is the first one;
[collection agency name]
Status: Paid, Closed
Date Opened: 8/2007
Reported Since: 11/2007
Last Reported: 03/2008
Terms: 1 months
Monthly Payment: $0
Credit Limit / Original Amount: $171
High Balance, Recent Balance, Recent Payment - N/A
MAR 2008; closed
FEB; no data
JAN; no data
DEC 2007; no data
Then there are two similar which aren't paid - one says "This account is scheduled to continue on record until July 2013", and another says the same but ".. until Nov. 2017".
As for my situation, I'm not in need of good credit and won't be until maybe 2015 or later. I'm in school full time, finance has good credit and besides we don't plan on buying a house this decade. If it's best to let sleeping dogs lie like the above then I'd rather not pay. Then again if there's cheap ways of improving the overall credit picture that are best done sooner than later, then I might decide to do so.
If there's nefarious ways of challenging them to 'prove it' which could lead to items being removed, I'd have no qualms about doing that either. (DV letters?)
One thing I don't understand is the one credit card I've had, a bad-credit type card (Orchard Bank, only $400 limit) - I've been very good about it except for once two years ago I went over limit by a small amount 4 times. Now I keep less than 10% balance on it, but it's listed under negative items and says "By Mar. 2018 this account is scheduled to go to a positive status".. If I'm current on it and have been for 2 years, why is it not positive now?
Another strange thing: I had medical bills which were paid off by state assistance. But they appear on my credit report as collections - and they say "Status: Collection account. $1 past due as of Sept. 2010". I remember the hospital billing people mentioning something about this, they seemed frustrated by it. I think they said to wait and it'd be removed, but it's been there for a long time and I don't know what to do about it.
So, there's a basic picture of my mess. Any advice would help, thanks.
In the meantime.. I called the CA about the medical bill collections for $1 each, they said it was a mistake and to dispute it, it would be removed immediately. 2 down. Next I noticed two other collections were duplicates with account numbers one digit off, and Experian had a notice on their site saying that in exactly such a situation I should call this 800 number, which I did, and they disputed the duplicate for me. There was also one record of a paid collection which I think was silly - I paid it as soon as it went to collections, this was from 6 years ago. I disputed it claiming I was 'never late'. Whatever. It'll be taken off next year anyhow. Last thing is to call my current credit card and see if they'll adjust their tradeline so that it doesn't appear as a negative item.
I was pleased to find that with just two phone calls at least three negative items are being removed. I suppose this should increase my score.
One conundrum remains - I have separate 4 items with AllianceOne Receivables for old parking tickets. I read on here they can be difficult. One of the four was paid in 2007, one is scheduled to be removed in 7/2013, and the other two are open and won't disappear until 2016/2017. The largest one is the one which will disappear next year.
So, do I:
A. Wait until 7/2013 for the old remaining debt to disappear, then send PFD letters for the other two remaining and a GW for the old paid record?
B. Send PFD letters for the two remaining debts now (the ones dropping off in 2016/17) and leave the third to disappear in 7/2013, then send a GW for the paid one?
C. Send PFD letters for all three debts which include removing the old paid debt as part of the deal?
I'm not clear on how to deal with one CA on multiple debts like this. Could option B lead to the one scheduled to be removed in 7/2013 not doing so?