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How to get back on track after lengthy illness
In Feb. 2007 I was let go from my job and filled for disability, and then in Sept. of the same year my husband had heart surgery and had to take early retirement and went on Socialy Security. He had no medical insurance when he had his surgery, and it took me 2 hears to receive my disability. This year I have been able to go back to work to supplement my disability income. We have not paid on any credit cards or any bills other than utilities since 2007. How do we decide which debts we should try to pay on now? How far back do we go?

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The statute of limitations is 7 years from the first missed payment of the most recent run of missed payments. I wouldn't touch anything that's within 18 months of falling off your report. So go back about 5.5 years. By the time you finish paying off the newer stuff, anything older than this will fall off.

Have you read Dave Ramsey's Total Money Makeover? If not, consider doing so. It's plain english, non-judgemental, and will give you a plan that you can implement today to take care of all of your debt. It will take time and commitment, but it can be done. I know you can do it.

In terms of dealing with what's on your credit report-

The first step is to pull your report(s) and review the status of your past due accounts. Do this for everything that appears, credit cards, loans, etc. Put them in order from newest to oldest. For debts the same or similar age, go with the highest interest rate first. Follow the "snowball" theory for repaying debt (google it).

Contact the creditors, in writing and send via certified mail, and request a debt verification letter. Once you have that, call them and pay in full or partial pay with a payment plan for the rest. Ask for the agreement in writing and also ask them to remove the mark from your score once payment is made as agreed upon.


Get any agreements in writing

Send all communications in writing and send certified mail, keep copies for your records

Make sure you're current on the bills you have today.

Good luck!

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Advise not working.....

I read this advise and it seems it isn't working for I was very ill and nearly died and feel behind a bit but when I was well enough I contacted the company and after being with them and in good standing for 11 & 17 yrs. one account was closed even after I paid them off in full....and now my score had dropped 68 points..crazy....also I want to know if co-signing for a loan can damage a credit score even tho they pay always on time? I am a senior and it just seems to me the system doesn't work for individuals that pay off their debts and try to keep a clean slate even if they have funds in the bank to work with...why isn't this part taken into consideration....

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