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Old Collection Item, Not Sure How to Proceed
Hi there! I'm a young adult with very little understanding, and Googling has left me more confused.

I opened a Credit Karma account to find that I had an Open Collections item, from a local hospital.

Opened Date: Jan 05, 2011
Last Reported May 02, 2017

I have no recollection of where/when the debt occured. I have heard so many myths about "restarting the clock" that I'm not sure what to do at this point . Should I contact the original creditor (the hospital) or the debt collection agency?

Would paying it make a difference? My credit score is not good because I've never had a credit card, so I think this might be having a big effect.

Thank you for any assistance in this matter.

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I would guess that this account should be falling off your reports within the next year, so it may be best for you to just let it age off. Contact the credit bureaus and ask if it can be removed yet or when it is scheduled to be removed. Do some reading on "early exclusion". Get yourself a Secured credit card from a lenient lender that reports to all three credit bureaus. Get some positive info on your credit reports. You should look up the "statute of limitations" in your state to be sued for this type of debt, odds are it probably has expired. The "statute of limitations" can be restarted by entering payment plans. The "seven year credit reporting period" CANNOT be restarted by anything. That is where the confusion happens on this topic, people get the two mixed up, "statute of limitations" and "credit reporting time period" are two DIFFERENT things, remember that and learning about this will be much easier. Continue to read about building credit and come back and ask questions as needed.

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I would call the hospital, ask for the information on the account.  Get what you can from them.  Contact the collection agency and ask for information on the account.  They have to have someting indicating you owe the money.  If it's legitimate, then contact the debt collection company and arrange payments with them.  Once it's cleared, give them a month to clear it from your report.  I'm going through a similiar thing right now for a bill for $87.  Interestingly, I have a bill from the same lab, dated four months later that doesn't show that charge from four months earlier....I'm going to be contacting the lab tomorrow to verify the account, then the agency to disput it.

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Could be wrong

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Protest the collecting with a credit agency and see if the hospital can back up the collection to the credit agency, if they can't it will be removed. Hospitals make mistakes all the time and have a bad track record with finding records. Make them prove it to the credit agency, you don't need to contact the hospital. Porbably not a bad idea to call the hospital and ask what the charge was for and deny it was you. Do you remmebr ever having a test done or something like that? The hospital may have done a blood test or something and you never got the bill? Protest and call the hospital. Don't pay the hospital.

If that doesn't happen just let it age off of your credit report which will happen at the 7 year mark. No point on paying that it won't help your credit score and in fact your payment may have the whole entry end up on your credit report for another 7 years.   

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File A Dispute

Get your free credit reports:

Get the documents that show the account has been paid. The law requires that they furnish this.

Then, file a dispute with all 3 credit bureaus if the account is still showing. Submit supporting documents.

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