11,721 Contributions 4,498 People Helped Top Contributor

Member Since: September 2012

About Me: I am a disabled veteran senior citizen with an AAS in Accounting and a BS in Industrial Management. At the time I joined Credit Karma, I believed in a cash-only life, but after reading the articles here, my mind was changed, BIG TIME. I now have available credit that is about 75% of my annual income, with a below 10% usage rate. The accounts need to age a bit more but my credit score here is Excellent and I plan to keep it that way. Wise use of credit really improves one's life and this is very important on a fixed income. Thank u Credit Karma for this valuable credit education.

Most Helpful Contribution

How can I take something off my credit report that isn't mine?

Feb 24, 2013
LVNV Funding
Helpful to 183 out of 215 people

Do you have any bills of any sort that have gone to collections?  LVNV is known as a "junk debt buyer" or a group of collectors that buy old, often past the statute of limitations debts and tries to collect on them.  Shady dealers.

There is information on your credit report that tells you how to dispute this debt.  It's not uncommon for credit reporting bureaus to make errors so I would dispute this now.  They have to investigate and verify the debt within a reasonable time, or remove it from your report. 

Hope this disappears quickly.

Activity (11721 Total Contributions)

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When will i start to see bankruptcys drop off of my credit history

Aug 21, 2014
Helpful to 72 out of 76 people

If it was a Capter 7 bankruptcy, it will drop off your report in 10 years.  If it was a Chapter 13, it should drop off after 7 years.  You just have to keep checking all three credit reports once a year to see when this actually occurs.

"commonwealth finance" Who are they?

Aug 23, 2013
Get all 3 credit reports!
Helpful to 75 out of 80 people

Go to annualcreditreport.com and order all 3 credit reports.  You want to go over them carefully and thoroughly, noting all errors (and Commonwealth Financial is one).  You will file a dispute on each error with the credit bureau(s) reporting same.  They have to investigate and either verify or delete these items.  It is not unusual to have mistakes on credit reports, which is why we are advised to check them every year to make sure all data is correct.

I did an online search for Commonwealth Financial and they are a collection agency, which we all prefer to avoid.  Just dispute this entry if it shows up and, should they contact you, send back a letter requesting validation of the debt, which most collection agencies can not do, so the account has to disappear.

If I pay off credit card purchases the next day will I build up the same credit as end of month pay?...

Jul 21, 2014
Helpful to 61 out of 65 people

Good question and I'll give a quick answer for now.  When you get a credit card statement, there are two dates that are very important.  The obvious first one is "Date Due" which is the latest date you want your payment to go in. That's obvious.

But, another important date is "Closing Date".  That is the date used to tabulate all purchases made during the billing period so that the statement can be sent out to you.  If the closing date is the 15th of the month, anything purchased between the 16th of the previous period and the 15th of this will be included on the bill as the "Total Amount Due."  No interest is charged on purchases.

But an important "situation" with credit cards that I did not know until after joining Credit Karma  and reading the very informative articles is "usage" which basically means how much you use the card between billing periods.  Paying for a purchase the next day will end up NOT showing a usage percentage on the credit score which will hurt it.  While it may sound sensible, it doesn't work well in the credit game.

So, please wait for the bill to come and then pay the total amount due and make the time to read the articles here, because the purpose of Credit Karma is to teach people about credit and how to use it.

Hope this helps. 

how do I reach the accounts on my report to contact them about balances.

May 06, 2014
Helpful to 56 out of 60 people

All the information needed is on your regular credit reports which you can obtain from annualcreditreport.com.  Check them out thoroughly, because mistakes are very common on credit reports.  When you find any mistakes, file disputes with the credit bureau reporting them.

Any accounts you know are yours will show the name and contact information of the creditor.  Before making that contact, do an online search for Statute of Limitations for collections and find what it is for your state.  Any debt that has passed the SOL time is uncollectable. 

Now, for the remaining debts, make all negotiations in writing and send them "certified, return receipt requested" and keep copies of all correspondence as proof of your efforts and their replies. 

You can find more information on getting debts paid and negotiating settlements in the articles on this site.  Teaching people hoiw credit works and how to make it work for them is what Credit Karma is all about.

what about forgiveness program how does that effect my credit

Aug 06, 2016
Helpful to 20 out of 20 people

If you qualify for the forgiveness program, go for it!!  Otherwise, the student loans remain collectable for life and the interest charges keep piling up.  I got mine discharged because of total disability and my score increased because that debt was cancelled. 

What happens if I ask that my credit limit be lowered?

May 29, 2015
Your score will drop.
Helpful to 28 out of 29 people

Having a good amount of available credit but not using much of it (9% or less) and paying all accounts promptly are major factors in having a good credit score.  The more available credit, the more you are being deemed trustworthy.

I currently have more available credit than I ever had before and am on a fixed income.  My credit union has given me periodic automatic credit line increases due to my payment record.  Managing the credit you have properly will do far more good than asking for decreases in credit line.

a collection agency is showing on my report and have no idea what/who this is. what do I do?

Nov 25, 2013
Helpful to 32 out of 34 people

Go to annualcreditreport.com and get copies of all three credit reports.  This is something to do once a year every year because errors are to be expected.  Look the reports over very carefully and file disputes on all WRONG information with the credit bureau reporting same.  They have to investigate and either verify or delete the disputed item.

Most likely this collection agency is an error.  That's why we are so strongly advised to do an annual credit report check so we can make sure all information is correct.

I have a 2 year old medical bill ( < 300$) that went to collections. Should I pay it off?

Jun 22, 2013
Yes, paying is good idea.
Helpful to 24 out of 25 people

The bill is only 2 years old.  Paying it off now will look good and improve your credit rating from the time it is paid.  Showing it paid, event after this time is far better than it remaining unpaid for the next 5 years until it falls off.  You'd be able to explain the circumstance of the late payment and a history from this day forward of regular payments on all accounts will work in your favor.

At what point should I file for bankruptcy

Sep 16, 2013
Think carefully.
Helpful to 73 out of 81 people

If your only debt is "unsecured", which means there is nothing you purchased with the funds that a creditor could take and sell to recoup some of the lent money, then you absolutely do not want to file for bankruptcy.  If you have something seriously tangible such as house or car, then you MIGHT think about it. 

Your credit score will take a hit for 10 years if you file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

If you file a Chapter 13 (also known as "wage earner's repayment plan" ) your credit score will be hurt for 7 yearsd which is about the same for regular debts.

A Chapter 13 might be a viable option if you would like to get the bills paid off but are currently "over your head".  As long as you have a steady income, it can work.  The interest rate on bills will be drastically reduced, 'but you will also have to not take on any debt and you will not have credit cards, period. I was there more than 20 years ago.

Bankruptcy attornies often offer free consultations for the initial visit and tell you other options you migh use to clear up debts w ithout going the bankruptcy route.

Hope this helps.

who is COAF on my credit report and what did they wanted to know

Sep 16, 2015
Helpful to 15 out of 15 people

Who?  Possibly Capital One Auto Finance.  if you do not have an account with this company, file a dispute with the credit bureau that is reporting it.

What do they want?  If it is not your account, who cares?  If it is, you will have to contact them to find out.

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