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What should be our plan? My wife has a credit score of 550 due to 21 late payments in the year 2014
My wife has a credit score of 550 due to 21 late payments in the year 2014. Since then, she has paid off all the credit companies for a zero balance, including late fees. She left the credit cards open because she had heard if you close a bunch of credit cards at once, it would hurt her credit score. I think we can all agree she messed up big, but she is doing the right thing by working towards improving her situation.

I repaired my credit easily enough with a credit score of 775, but her credit repair on the other hand has the both of us baffled. I read the place to begin is by sincerely asking creditors for “credit forgiveness” and the hope is they are sympathetic. She started out calling each creditor asking to speak to a supervisor, telling her tale of credit woe and hoping all would be forgiven. It obviously wasn’t that easy.

Each creditor instead provided an address to send a letter to and would not provide her with credit statements from 2014. There are two things that stuck out in my mind.

01) The addresses were addressed to “FRCA Credit Bureau Dispute”. FRCA I believe stands for “Fair Credit Reporting Act” and I think (correct me if I’m wrong) it’s basically another name for Trans Union, Equifax and Experian (Credit Bureaus). If she sends a letter telling her tale of credit woe and requesting credit forgiveness, isn’t this self-incriminating? I understand she may be guilty, but my mind set is to improve her credit score by any means possible.

02) Because each creditor would not provide us information pertaining to each late payment, I suspect they either don’t have proof of late payments (unlikely), don’t have access to proof of late payments (likely) or don’t desire to share this information (most likely). Her credit card statements in which she has access to only go back about a year and her late payments mostly occurred 2014.

I spoke with a representative of TransUnion about the process of disputes. They basically told me credit bureaus are, in general terms, the middle man between a creditor and people like ourselves. The creditor must provide proof that a person missed a late payment within a month or else the late payment is removed from the persons credit score. If the creditor does provide proof within a month, the credit bureau isn’t entitled to share that information (proof) with the person whose credit score was affected. We were somewhat surprised and somewhat expecting something like this.

We then filed a dispute for each late payment under the premises they “Verify Information”. I’m not sure if this was a good move or bad, but figured it was a start.

From where we stand now, what should be our process or plan to try and improve my wife’s credit score?

Thank you all for your wisdom in advance.

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Top Contributor
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The letter your are reffering to

Would force the creditor to provide proof that she was billed correctly and when the payments were actually made.  That would not nessisarily change the outcome since I'm fairly sure that they will have the records. specially if the account is still open.  Pleading her case once the accounts are paid generally does not help. There is no incentive for the creditor to go back and change info thay they have already reported.

I've seen the same type of situation where multiple payments are reported as Late when a person misses the first payment and doesn't make up that missed payment. So each monthly payment continues to report as late. Its a tough one to deal with.

You stated that she did not close the credit cards, Is she still using them?  If not she may want to start using them (I suggest 1or2  charges every couple of months) and pay the balances.  By using the card, receiveing the bill and paying in full, It shows that she is indeed in charge of her finances now.  The reported on-time payments will help to boost her score some.  

Credit scoring is about averages.  The more on-time payments she has will help off set those late payments.  That will help in the long run.

There is no Quick fix for Credit history. 

Good luck

Top Contributor
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You could also try writing directly to each credit card company.  It's called a "Good Will" letter.  I would google this and try that.  And yes as said above, use your cards.  Dont let more then 1 - 9% of your total credit show. 

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