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Some help for the road ahead??

Established Member

Some help for the road ahead??


So happy to have joined the myfico boards. I have been reading a lot on here as well as CB and I'm trying to regain control of my credit score. I've already learned so muh- I Started w/ a score in the mid 500s in July. SINCE THEN, I'm up to around 629 just by getting all my accounts up to date and paying off some debt.
Anyhow, my story is similar to many others. I have 5 negative accounts on my credit report (mostly from late payments that occurred when I was in college...ugh, youth). All except for one are currently up-to-date in terms of payments.
After reading for what seems like HOURS on various boards, here is my current plan of attack.
1. Make sure addresses/names on my credit report are up to date
2. Send good will letters to Capital one, BoA, and Nissan regarding the late payments from a few years ago. As I said, these accounts have all been paid on time for at least the last 2 years. Hoping they will take pity on me (know that this is not necessarily what will happen....)
3. Pay down credit cards so that I'm using less than 10% of available credit. I've already made really good headway on this. Hope to have the rest done within the next 6 mos or so.
4. Get some additional credit (I currently have a $1500 BoA card, a $300 cap one, and an $800 chase). My husband is adding me as an authorized user to his $5000 Chase Southwest card. Do you think I need any more than that?
5. THIS is where I'm stuck. I have one account that is still not paid. Its an M&T checking account that I had forgotten about from high school days. Evidently there was a small overdraft balance on it that snowballed over time into a sizable amount of money owed. They didn't have my current address so I didn't know about this until they sold it to a collection agency. The collection agency found my current phone number and now is calling me 4-5 times a day. I have been TERRIFIED to answer the phone without being knowledgeable about what to say. 
What I'm thinking of doing is:
a) Actually picking up the phone to figure out the amount owed
b) Asking for written validation, as suggested in these boards
c) Deciding what to do from there.
This collection account has NOT showed up on ANY of my credit reports (which I find really odd). The only mark is that the amount was over 120 days late and then it was closed. Do you think agreeing to pay it assumes liability and therefore it will all of a sudden show up? I just don't know what to do here so I have been avoiding it (I KNOW, terrible, terrible).
Any help on this general plan and/or my "step 5" would be very helpful!
Thanks and I'm looking forward to becoming part of your community!

Starting Score: 624
Current Score: 677
Goal Score: 700

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