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Question By
inkspots

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I need to clean up my credit score
score is low need help cleaning it up asap.

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I can give you some advice based on my own experience. I am rebuilding my credit after having a few hard years and a divorce that destroyed my credit (I used to have excellent credit, many credit cards, loans, and cars on my name). First, I repaid 3 of the lower balances for medical bills I had as derogatory marks on May 1(I had 10 derogatory marks, 3 are from credit cards and the rest are medical bills that were supposed to be covered by my ex-husband insurance but he never notified me of the remaining balances). My credit score was 593. In that same week I got a CK offer for a secured card from Capital One. I applied and got approved with a Credit limit of $300 since I deposited $150 as security deposit. I was very surprised after been denied JCPenney, Victoria Secret, Children's Place, American Eagle and so on during the past 6 years). Credit cards will help you rebuild your credit as long as you pay always on time and keep the balance owed in less than 30% of the credit limit. (Example: If your limit is $300, keep your owed balance in less than $90 and the remaining $210 available).

Then I followed one of CK user's advice: Dispute my derogatory marks no matter if I knew they are valid or not. If a collector fails to respond to a dispute on the 30 days of receiving your dispute letter the credit reporting agencies must delete the debt from your report by Law. So I pulled my free credit report from National Credit Report (be aware that the trial is for 7 days, so get your report and call ASAP to cancel membership otherwise they charge you 39.95 monthly). With my credit report at hand I got the addresses of all Collection agencies where my debts where. I wrote a letter and sent it to all of them via certified mail on 5/6 and sent a copy of all of them in a single certified mail to myself.

Yesterday, I received the first letter saying that one of my medical bills was going to be removed from my credit report due to "certain qualifying circumstances". I automatically saved $500 in a medical bill literally with a $4.00 investment on the certified mail tag. So I only have 6 derogatory marks left as of today (not refreshed on my report yet, I hope to see them out on June). All my debts are supposed to fall off by the end of 2015 and beginning of 2016 since my financial crisis was by the end of 2008. I learned that in some occasions if the collector can't validate the account, if have errors on the date of reporting, or they fail to send you an offer to settle the debt they should remove the debt too (I got my JC Penney account removed from my credit because they failed to send me settlement offer when they sold my account to a different collections agency). In other cases as per my readings if they think that the debt is uncollectable they can decide to remove it from the credit report without much fuss or just don’t answer to the dispute letter so you can dispute Transunion and get it removed.

Today TransUnion refreshed my Credit Karma's report and in less than a month (24 days to be exact) I increased 6 points and I haven't had 2 derogatory marks removed yet or my new credit card appear. So that gives me hope! While I was checking this information I got an offer for a Capital One Classic Platinum Credit card (not secured). I read the reviews and decided to take the leap of faith and applied. I GOT APPROVED with $300 limit that can be increased after 6 months of excellent payment history. I really don't care about the credit limit, because no matter the credit limit they are helping me rebuild my finances. 

The most important thing here is to never, ever close your older credit account. I made the mistake of closing a VISA with a $7,500 limit I had for many years after paying it off in 2008. But at least I kept a credit line with my bank that has been there covering any overdraft on my checking account for the past 12 years. That has helped me to have an excellent payment history on my open accounts for the past 5 years. 

I was very discouraged at first about having my credit repaired because I was unable to pay a company to do it for me, or the options I had with companies like ALMA financial implied a monthly payment so high it was impossible to pay my debt and pay rent and a car. But the tools I have found here in CK, most of them the advise of other users have put me in the correct path to restore my credit for good. I hope this can help you.

Reply by
mdlohn

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6 People Helped
Helpful to 4 out of 6 people

These are great points and I have done a lot of the same. My score is up (657) and I will get a report and dispute the things on it. That was a great point. 

Reply by
Grisnel

4 Contributions
114 People Helped
Helpful to 12 out of 12 people

Update:

i waited the 30 days for collectors to validate my debt. Only received 2 letters in response. So I called Transunion and opened a dispute. They asked me when I sent the letters and copy of the letters received. I sent them by mail as requested and waited for them to complete the process. They deleted 5 of the 6 remaining derogatory marks on my credit report and sent me a letter with the findings. My credit score jumped from 591 in May to 636 in July. Now its a matter to manage my credit cards responsibly and pay on time so it continue increasing. 

Hope this help you!

1 Contribution
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Helpful to 2 out of 2 people

Hey!

First off, I'd like to congratulate you on getting those marks removed from your report; I hope to have the same or similar success considering that I have 12 deragatory marks on my report (ALL MEDICAL BILLS). I have a question about the letters you sent out to the collection agencies. I'll give you some of my background. I'm 25 and my score is 586 via CK. I have one student loan for $4600 that I make payments on every month. In April, I decided to apply for a secured credit card (I acutally got approved, but had to make a deposit which is my current limit) because I wanted to start working on my credit (something I should have done years ago). I make the monthly payments on time too and try really hard to keep the balance under 30% of $200. I'm about $12,000 in debt and over half of that is the medical bills. Two of them were in 2008 from when I was 19 and the rest are from the last couple of years or so (I've never been able to afford insurance). I make $1400 a month and i simply can't afford to pay all of that. Not even in monthly installments after the 'real-time' bills I have to pay for. I wanted to know what I should say in my letter and what not. I know it seems silly, but I would REALLY appreciate all of your help with this. 

Thanks so much!

Reply by
hotguitargod

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0 People Helped

What did you say in your dispute letters and how do I get addresses from the creditors

Reply by
moochie28

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0 People Helped

"I wrote a letter and sent it to all of them via certified mail on 5/6 and sent a copy of all of them in a single certified mail to myself". 

Hello! You wrote this statement explaining what you did to repair your credit, can you explain to me what you meant when you said certified mail? I'm trying to  fix my credit as well.

Credit Karma Team
Top Contributor
2949 Contributions
4629 People Helped

Helpful to 3 out of 4 people

Improving your credit score can be hard work. There is no magic answer or overnight solution. 

Can you tell us more about your situation? What kind of help do you need? 

Reply by
hotguitargod

2 Contributions
0 People Helped

How do I get my creditors addresses?

1 Contribution
1 Person Helped

credit help

Helpful to 1 out of 1 people

hello all i need some help i want to buy a house in the near future but i just saw my credit score and that does not look like it is going to happen any time soon.  so i was wondering how i can improve my score to get to that point i was aproved for a car loan but i deciced not to get the car right now.  i have an open credit card with a 300 limit and after looking at my credit report i have alot of medical bills that are in collection. i was thinking about pay ing them all off over rest of the year but i was told that would make my time restart so if any one can tell me the right thing to do it would be greatly apreciated.

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1 Person Helped

Disputes

Helpful to 1 out of 1 people

How do I dispute a balance I do not agree with?

1 Contribution
0 People Helped

Help needed

Hey I have a question, I financed a car for almost 13000 and then i lost my job and couldnt make the payments no more. So they took that car back and I dont know the exact term but it really did screw up my credit and I dont know what to do about it.

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