@Noah_Bodie wrote:Has the hospital(s) reported the account(s) to the CRAs or are they just sending threatening notices?Judgement vary wildly from state to state, but generally they remain for 7 years, or more, the date they were paid.Keep the revolving account current. What's the util?Establishing additional credit will help, but it might be tough at first. Is your CC a secure card?
Util is shorthand for utilization, but that's really only relevant for credit cards. It's the percent of available credit in use. For example, assuming a $450 balance on a card with a $1,000 limit, then the util would be 45%. Keeping all your cards under 50% is good, under 30% is better, under 10% is best.
Since this is an installment loan, util isn't an issue for that account.
Are you getting calls or letters from the hospital? I ask because if they went into collections in 2001, then they'll drop from your reports in 2008. Unless you're trying to buy a car or home before then, you might wanna just let them lie for now.
Either a pre-paid or secure card is a good way to start. There are also subprime cards out there, and you could probably get one of them. Capital One, Orchard, First Premier, HSBC, Centennial and some others. Read carefully because these subprime cards can carry a hefty initial fee to signup. Upwards of $200.
Target and Walmart are two that a lotta folks land.
I know what worked for me. I got myself into trouble with cc's a number of years ago. My credit was ruined for a while as a result of this. I got rid of all of them and just looked at my situation as starting over. I found information here interesting (http://www.nationalpayday.com) and used them to help me rebuild my credit score. I just took small ones over a number of months and paid them back immediately. It helped me out in the long run.