I'm trying to clean up my credit reports so that my wife and I can begin the home buying process, and I'm not sure what the best way to approach this particular baddie is. I had my private student loan (lender was Citizens Bank, but serviced through Firstmark) charged off due to me not paying it for several months in a row and failing to contact them. I was in a pretty serious battle with depression and unfortunately this was one of the after effects I'm dealing with. The account is showing up a total of 4 times across my reports. One as a single charge off account that is reflecting my monthly payments I'm making to Citizens to pay down the debt, and then as three separate accounts, one for each bureau (I'm talking specifically about the my Fico 3B report.) Normally I see a trade line reported with the details for each bureau as a single item, but as I mentioned, this one is reported separately for each bureau.
My question is how can I go about tackling this? Since Firstmark has already "transferred" the debt to Citizens, I'm assuming a PFD with them is off the table, even though Citizens was the original lender in the first place. Along those same lines, I'm curious if I can offer Citizens a PFD to eliminate both the charge off and the original loan? Or would I be able to dispute since the trade lines aren't matching across the reports?
Any guidance would be greatly appreciated.
I would not recommend disputing it. It sounds like there may be slight differences in reporting, not that it's three separate accounts reporting, and disputing it will only ask the bank to confirm the debt (which they will likely do).
There is no harm in contact/calling Citizens to see if you can get a PFD or sweet talking them into removing information. Failing that, I would try goodwill letters (check the rebuilding forums for the goodwill saturation technique, though this might take more time than you have for a mortgage app)