10 Credit Score Facts and Fictions

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2014-quizzle-blog-home-credit-myths

If you’re a fan of TV’s “Mythbusters,” then you may already know the truth about many popular fictions – like how a heated Jawbreaker can explode when you bite into it, or that a home ceiling fan cannot decapitate you, or that your toilet seat is the cleanest surface in your house. While these are fun myths to try to debunk, knowing the facts of these fictional stories most likely won’t affect your personal finances.

What can impact your wallet is what you know – and just as importantly, what you don’t know – about your credit score. Your credit score is a three-digit numerical representation of your credit-worthiness, or how likely you are to reliably pay back money you borrow. It may seem simple enough, but credit scores aren’t always intuitive. Even when you think you’re doing the right thing financially, you may be actually hurting your credit score.

When it comes to credit reports and scores, knowledge is power. Here are the real facts behind 10 common credit score fictions:

Fiction: The more money you make, the better your credit score will be.

Fact: Your income has nothing to do with your credit score. It’s not reported to the credit bureaus or listed on your credit report. Really, it isn’t. Take a look!

Fiction: Once you’ve paid a past-due debt, it will drop off of your credit report.

Fact: Late payments and other negative information remain on your credit report for seven years from the date of the initial late payment. Bankruptcies typically stick around for 10 years from the bankruptcy filing date. While that black mark may continue to soil your credit report, however, its effect on your credit score will lessen over time.

Fiction: Credit bureaus never make mistakes.

Fact: Nearly 8 in 10 credit reports contain a serious error or some sort of mistake, according to a survey by the U.S. Public Interest Research Groups. Because many errors can negatively impact your credit score, it’s important to check your credit report regularly and dispute any inaccuracies you find. To take a look at your credit report and score for free, and dispute credit report errors online, visit Quizzle.com.

Fiction: Practicing a cash-only policy will help your credit score.

Fact: Having good credit is a function of having credit available to you and using it responsibly. If you don’t have or use credit, you may have no credit history at all and if you do, your credit score won’t be as good as someone who consistently demonstrates responsible use of credit over time.

Fiction: All credit reports and credit scores are the same.

Fact: You have three main credit reports – one from Experian, Equifax and Transunion – plus a variety of credit scores. The information listed on each of your credit reports may vary and your credit scores – even if based on a single report – may also vary. No one credit report or score is better than the others. They all seek to document your credit history and assess your credit risk.

Fiction: How responsibly you manage your checking, savings and investment accounts will impact your credit score.

Fact: Like income, your checking, savings and investment account activity is not reported to the credit bureaus and does not affect your credit score.

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Fact: When you close a credit card account, you may be affecting your “credit utilization.” Credit utilization is simply how much credit you use (balances) compared to how much credit is available to you (credit limits). Closing a credit card account lowers the amount of credit that’s available to you, which may increase your credit utilization percentage if you maintain balances on any of your other credit cards. A higher credit utilization may negatively impact your credit score.

Fiction: Pulling your own credit report will lower your credit score.

Fact: When you pull your credit report for your own educational purposes, it’s considered a “soft inquiry” and will not affect your credit score. On the other hand, when a creditor or lender pulls your credit report for the purpose of extending you credit or a loan, it’s a “hard inquiry” and may negatively impact your credit score. (Learn more about credit inquiries.)

Fiction: If a bill or debt isn’t reported to the credit bureaus, missing a payment won’t affect your credit score.

Fact: Any time you pay a bill late or don’t pay it at all, that activity can be reported to the credit bureaus. Different companies have different policies about reporting late payments or negative information, but never assume that just because you’ve never seen a particular bill listed on your credit report that it can’t negatively impact your credit score if you don’t pay it.

Fiction: Disputing accurate information will remove it from your credit report.

Fact: You can only dispute information on your credit report that is inaccurate. When you dispute information on your credit report, the credit bureau has 30 days to investigate. If it finds the dispute to be valid, it will remove the inaccurate information. If, however, the dispute claim is found to be false, that information will not be removed from your credit report. Beware of credit repair companies claiming that they can get negative – albeit accurate – information removed from your credit report. This practice is illegal and these companies are generally scams.

For more tips and tools to help you manage your home, money and credit – including the most affordable credit monitoring on the web and complete identity theft protection – visit Quizzle.com.

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  • Susie Burkart

    My husband and I recently went through a foreclosure (5/3/10). We have kept all our other bills paid and made sure we were not late for any of them. How long will it take for our credit to recover, if we continue to make sure we pay everything on time and keep our debt low. (Our credit score was 780 now it’s around 622.)

    • Ms. Kiela

      Three years after a foreclosure, you can obtain a mortgage. Your credit score should improve as long as you maintain paying your bills on time, and make sure that you are not using a great deal of the credit that is available.

    • Carlos

      Hello, I filled bankruptcy chapter 13 and paying 100% I Had excellent credit (780) lawyer recommended to file bankruptcy due to a house needing 40’000 worth on foundation work and only worth 60’000 said that it would look better than a foreclosure, I included and surrender the house and today is getting foreclosed will a foreclosure show up onmy credit? and if so when would I be able to get finacing for a home again with the bankruptcy my fico scores are just above 600 (602 601 615)

  • cherry watler

    am working on gueting my life back am inroll in adept prgram that has helped me reduce intress on my credit card 6months ago i lost my husband so it’s just my 12year old, and i. Iwill continue to work hard so we can have some freedom,take vacation and much more. thank you my score is (589) and my points is( 51) out of (100) so i still need to work on 69 points to bring it up.

    • Ms. Kiela

      Debt management programs don’t tell you that when you enroll in them, creditors look at it as if you’ve filed bankruptcy, and they have a negative impact on your credit.

    • William

      A debt program is a terrible Idea. These company typically put some of your money in their pocket and send the rest to your creditor. The biggest problem is they will not send the full payment due which will cause you to have a 30 day late on your credit month after month. I work with my customers credit daily and it’s unfortunate but at least in Texas it’s a better idea to let a few accounts default then hire a good credit clean-up company to repair the damage, use the money you save per month and keep your other accounts up to date. By the way you need three revolving account to get your credit scores up. Just keep the balances very very low and never pay them off.

  • Hmm

    I doubt you are still at 622 with a foreclosure

    • Samantha

      Actually it is very possible that her credits score is at a 622! If she had a credit score of 780 prior to the foreclosure! I would have recommended you thinking about a short sale versus because that could have saved her score about 100 points. You only lose anywhere from 100-200 points from a foreclosure, making her figures very plausible!

      If anyone out there is about to be foreclosed on, please look into doing a short sale! Instead of waiting 3 years to buy a home, for a short sale you only have to wait about 60 days and it will only affect your credit by 20-50 points! Look into a short sale realtor near you!

  • Karl

    Just like everything else, the credit industry is out to screw the consumer. The credit score is a farce, and makes no sense at all when you really look at it. If you have say 8 credit cards and never, or only rarely use them, your credit score is generally high. As soon as you use the credit cards and run up a balance, your credit score takes a nose dive. Basically as long as you don’t use your credit, you have good credit and credit score. Start using it, and you lose your good credit and credit score. If you don’t believe me, check your credit score, then start running up your credit cards but make all payments on time and larger than required, and see what happens to your credit score.

    • William

      Sorry Karl. but that is incorrect. You must use your revolving to get and keep your scores up. You just have to keep the balances less than 35% and never pay them off.

  • Ken Hall

    Hello Susie Burkart,

    Your credit score will start recovering right away. Each month your score will improve as long as all your debts are paid on a timely basis and you keep your balances on revolving accounts low. (below 20% of the high limit).

    You will probably be unable to qualify for a government mortgage (FHA, VA, RD) for three years from the date of foreclosure. Conventional financing will take longer still. You may see a 780 again in a few years. Currently, the best rates on an FHA mortgage kick in at 660.

    Good Luck!

  • christal M Althoff

    I am trying to better my credit score, paying down the balance.
    I would like to get into our second home however, we have 8 store retail credit cards.
    According to your statement on credit utilization do I need to close some?

    Won’t it help a little? Some have barely any balance , while others are very high almost maxed. Also My husband has 2 CCs Visa and master card and they are at a 32% interest rate. Due to my son having a brain tumor and the other son Arthritus. Medical Bills were crazy… Thats probably not helping.
    Please tell me what I should do?

    Christal

    • William

      Christal,
      I’d stay at 7 revolving accounts or less total, but VERY IMPORTANT……. DO NOT CLOSE THE CARD THAT HAS BEEN OPENED THE LONGEST! Next add up all the credit limits on all the cards, then add up all you owe on all the cards….. You will be best at 8%, but for most this is not realistic. Just keep the combined amount that you owe the credit card companies at 35% or less and your on your way to great credit scores.

  • Ron

    Susie, if you keep your other bills paid and your debt low you should start to see improvement within about 2 years. Your score will not return to 780 (or even close) until the foreclosure drops off your credit report, which will be in 7 years. There is only one thing worse than a foreclosure in terms of the amount of damage it does to your score, and that is a bankruptcy filing. Good luck!

  • Anita Conti

    I have a questions, my credit score is 799. We are currently looking to buy a house. The problem is my husband had a heart attack back in Feb. We have been having a lot of trouble with our insurance paying the bill because the hospital made major errors on the bill. Now all the bills from the hospital, doctors, etc have not been paid. I know they will pay sooner or later, but will this hurt my credit score for not paying on time and will this hurt the chances of purchasing a home.

    • William

      Anita,
      The Dr’s don’t much care who the money comes from, they just know your the one on the hook. Call the Dr’s office and make payment arrangements NOW. They will do this and not report derogatory information to the credit repositories. Do this tomorrow! Best of luck.

  • Karl O

    Karl,
    You are exactly correct! “Just like everything else, the credit industry is out to screw the consumer.” Not only are the credt bureaus selling consumers information to potential creditors to encourage consumers to incur more debt but the credit bureaus are lowering the consumers credit scores as well. To the creditors it looks like the credit bureaus are doing a great job and encourages the consumers to spend money with the credit bureaus to purchase their own credit reports and credit scores. I have four credit cards which I use for convenince and pay off every month but the credit bureaus don’t report that on my credit report, but they do lower my credit scores every month because I use my credit cards. Unfortunately our laws allow the unscrupulous credit bureaus to continue their unscrupulous practices.

    • William

      Don’t pay them off. Just keep the balances low.

      • Samantha

        William,

        So you are saying that even if you are within 20$ of paying off, do not pay that amount off? Or are you going to have to purchase something else and do it all over again! That would get old really quick! Why is it that if I pay off my accounts that I get penalized for it. I have a living room set I am paying off(Rooms to Go) and I have agreed to the 0% for the first 3 years if I pay it off before then? I do not want to be charged for the interest so what does anyone recommend that I do? We are in need of a dining room table, but I would really like to have one less bill and not pay any interest??
        Help please. I thought I had this credit thing figured out, but I guess its a bit more in depth than I thought? I had a credit score of 710 from the age of 18-21 and now that I have opened two more lines of credit (even though I make double payments every time and pay on time) my credit score has gone down to a 655?? I am pretty upset about this seeing as I am now trying to buy my first home. These purchases have been up to 6 months ago? Could that be what is effecting my score?

  • tom c.

    I have a card with a 12,600 limit. I am getting married next week and started a new business this year. Therefore, more $ had to go to credit cards. I am also employed full time and have rental property income.Yet my card lowered the limit to 8000. Now i am using 90% of my avail credit. I underdstand that the banks are nervous with the economy. I have not ever missed a payment or been late on the card. Two questions_ 1) i assume the high debt to avail credit will hurt my scpore? 2) does the fact that a creditor lowers my credit by itself lower my score? now they want me to a”apply for a credit line increase so they can run my credit again and further damage my score.(which i am not doing) what a scam. any thoughts?

    • William

      Your right on all accounts. No the actual lowering of your credit limit does not hurt you. It’s the new ratio that will. A balance of $10 on a $20,000 limit card is no better in most cases than a $10 balance on a $10,000 card. I hate telling you this, but in your case you need to open another revolving account or two to correct the credit usage ration. Just be careful. It sucks that they lowered your limit and damaged your credit scores. Your not alone!

  • Tom M.

    If you just started a business you should have an EIN number. You should get a Duns number
    for your business so you can get business credit cards that don’t report to your personal credit reports. That’s what i did now i have a strong corporate credit file and when you max out your revolving credit cards it will not lower your corporate credit score like your personal credit does.

    You will get 50 times the credit with a duns number. I got into real estate investing and set up
    a s corp with a corporate credit file and I currently have bad personal credit and it has not
    effected my ability to get corporate credit cards in the name of the business at all.

    If you want more info just email me !!!!

    • Steve C

      Thats an awesome tip! Thank you

  • Don

    Credit card companies need to have instructional and developmental classes that will be very informative so consumers can understand more about credit before they get the credit cards, loans ect… The fine print that is not easily accessible like the equations they use to come up with the score and many other unanswered questions needs to be revealed. We need a walk thru of how it works. All the heresy is useless when most are being negativly affected. Its ashame how you can go to college, get a credit card, student loan, or a home and your credit sinks like the titanic even when your paying your bills on time. I really dont think they wanna educate people about credit because thats another form of passive control.

    • William

      Won’t ever happen. They make too much money on late and over limit fees. Secondly the credit repositories don’t release all the rules they use to score you.

    • Jason

      Why should the credit card companies have to educate you? What happened to all the knowledge from K-12, true, they don’t directly teach you this but they do teach budgeting and percentages. Also, didn’t you have parents / guardians who raised you to teach you these things?

      Likely, if they did teach people about it the more money they would make due to more (proper) transactions going through vs. having to write off bad credit.

  • Tikika W.

    I have items on my credit that doesn’t belong to me i disputed some of them but only response from one creditor. My credit score is 555 and i would like to purchase a home soon. How high do my credit score needs to be before i can qualify for a home and what can i do to improve my score?

    • William

      Tikika,
      Some lenders will take you at 580 or above on an FHA loan, but they are few and far between. You really should be at 620 or better. Go get 2 or 3 secured credit cards and your scores will jump quick. You are 60 days away from having buyable scores. Easy Easy.

  • tom c.

    tom m- thanks for the help. very informative!! sticking together is the only way to fight the evil empire!!! ill keep you posted on the outcome.

  • Safari

    Tom M
    i would love to get more info from you. I have an o.k. score and no credit history and i am planning to open my business in 9-12 months and need all the help. Your email address did not show up. Please email me at Safari7as at gmail dot com
    Thanks so much.

    • William

      Get a few credit cards (secured if necessary.) You have time.

  • angela

    Tom M. please send me more info to worntwice@Yahoo.com I have an ex co-worker who did such and had massive line of credit and a new vehicle for his business with that same deal.

  • JR Pierce

    WE went through a devastating bankruptcy 6 years ago. At what point will the negative reports be removed from our credit reports? Can we request to have them removed? We have worked very hard to build our credit back up – never carry a balance, pay our bills on time, etc., but I want to make sure the negative information comes off of our credit report as soon as possible. I do not trust this to be done automatically – I would like to be pro-active on this.
    Thanks,

    • William

      10 years, but a good credit clean up company can have it removed. Mind you…… if you try and buy a house the bankruptcy will show up when they pull cavers, but at least it would be off your credit and no longer effecting your scores.

  • Ann S

    One hard lesson I learned after suddenly becoming disabled ,and of course no income for the 7 month waiting period, my credit bottomed. As I started working on rebuilding my credit:

    Most foreclosures, while still on your reports will not hurt your ability to buy another home after 2 yrs, and with new laws you may find you get a better rate then most were giving before the meltdown anyway.

    If you pay of a collection agency, not only will it drop your score, suddenly predator collection companies start reporting collections from companies you have never heard of.
    I have a few that even the companies themselves have no record of me ever having an account. LVNC is worst. I have a supposed music club owing over 200 dollars to, a book club, and one I can not even find out what company “supposedly” sold the collection to LVNC. I did the 30 written dispute to agency, then disputed at all three credit agencies, all to no avail. Despite the first two companies admitting they have no record of my ever having an account with them.

    Medical bills that insurance companies don’t pay, even after approving the test and procedures, again you have no recourse but wait out the 7 years, even if suddenly you have a few thousand dollars around to pay off. Or as I was told by my insurance company “file a lawsuit”. HaHa like that would really work.

    My score had increase to 650, until credit repair sites all said needed more recent credit history, that I should get a loan, credit cards but keep balances low, and pay off some of the collections. which I did then to hear I had to much new credit that along with the sudden influx of bogus collection agencies my score dropped back down to 580 in one month. But my banker told me that by end of year it will actually increase by several points above the 650. So don’t expect those ‘hints’ to repair credit to be quick.

    If you do find bogus collection accounts that you can not get removed, talk to your state Atty Gen office, you might find they are willing to give them a call and they scramble away. Otherwise you have to go route of credit fraud, which in most causes don’t apply to companies, just individuals.

    I am fortunate that my state does not allow legal action except in cases of secured loans (ie repossession and foreclosure). Though agencies have called and tried to bully me into believing they were suing me. So people should check with their state laws before buying into that tactic.

    I am lucky I band with a small town bank, owned and operated by neighbors. I left big banks behind years ago.

    I suggest to people to look for small credit unions (large ones I have found to be as bad as corporate banks), or if you live in Urban area, it very well may be worth the drive to nearest small town and check out their banks. Esp, farming communities.

    My return check fee is 8 dollars, but usually never have any, and the bank President will take time to really help you rebuild credit. Best advice I have gotten has been from mine. As well, as taking the risk to make loans regardless of credit score.

    I would love to see the government do something about these predatory debt collectors. They need to have stricter regulations.
    I hear too much about reviving our economy, but seems to be just talk for all of us who (for whatever reason) got caught in the tidal wave of housing, wall street, and banks.
    Unless lenders are willing to look at more then just the score, work with us to re establish credit quicker, even lower instead of raising amount of scores needed, won’t it take a lot longer for our economy to recover. A lot of us did not borrow at sub prime rates, did not abuse our credit limits, many fell because of the failures of the ones we borrowed from.

  • David P

    Ann S were are you from . sounds like the state i would like to move to Thank you David Payne from Florida

    • William

      She must live in TEXAS as I do!

  • Paula F

    Last month I checked my credit score which is a 615.
    I currently have no bills that are effecting my credit to either raise it or lower it.
    Is there anything I can do to improve it aside from pay my bills on time.

  • Brenda

    I filed bankruptcy in March 2001. How long is it going to be on my report? Will my credit score come up when it drops off? I am at a 620 right now and I am unable to get decent financing for a car or anything else. It sure is hard to raise that score! Plus, I was told that after 2 years an inquiry drops off. Mine haven’t. What’s the deal?

    • Samantha

      Normally a bankruptcy stays on your credit for 10 years. Even though it comes off your credit there are other ways for companies to find that information.

  • terri

    I have a credit score of 738. I own a car with monthly payments and have 4 credit cards I carry a balence on. I am concidering consolidation to one cc with no apr for 12 months. I also am concidering canceling all of my department store cards which carry no balence…will this hurt my credit?

    • Dot

      Never cancel your credit cards…….that can have a negative impact to your score. Most department stores will just close your account on their own after afew years of inactivity.

      • William

        Incorrect. If the creditor closes the account there will be a notation ” Account closed by credit grantor.” This can’t be good. I’d much rather see “Account closed be customer.”

    • William

      Just keep the oldest store card open and use it from time to time. If you consolidate I wouldn’t close the accounts that are now at zero balance. If you do this will really mess up your credit usage ratio and lower your scores.

  • terri

    I also have a motgage which is always on time.

  • Jobby

    Hi all,
    I paid off an auto loan in May 2010 which is still showing in my all 3 credit reports. Is there anything I need to do for this..?
    Thanks
    Jobby

    • William

      Call your old lender and tell them to report a zero balance to all 3 bureaus. Then check and be sure they don’t report you late.

  • kel

    I have read good credit will never leave your credit report as i have a car that was paid for back in 2003 and guess what it was paid off early and everything on time and shes still on my report so i do really believe that is true!!!! Glad that good stays and the bad goes aways typically after 7 years.
    Now had some rough times myself in the last few years and my score dropped. Its now rising again, I would like to know what I need to do. I have been paying off my collections, still a few more to go and should be done by october. I have no mortage, no auto or loans period, and NO credit cards. What do I need to do to keep raising the score. I was laid but hopefully starting in October a new one, I do currently go to school full time and have used my post 9-11 gi bill so I get some bah and help. So where do i Start building, if i get the job I will be making great money and want to buy a house possibly a small farm and start a business all within the next 2 years any suggestions???
    What do i need to do.

    • William

      This isn’t too bad. I’d make sure you have in writing that once you pay these old collections off that they will expunge the accounts from your credit. They must be completely gone not just at a zero balance! Do that now while you have their money and leverage.
      Next open 2 or 3 secured credit cards. I know you hate them, but good credit scores are a result of good credit usage. Ya gotta do it for a while. Oh and yes good credit will stay with you forever, but like all credit the older or longer the account is paid off the less weight it holds when you are scored.

    • keith

      Actually the Truth is Good Past Closed Accounts will come off your Reports after 10 years of being closed or if you dispute accuracy, but not Forever as mentioned above. They really have not much bearing on your scores once closed and paid in full as the most important factors in determining your Actual Credit Scores are : Account Balances(% Usage), Available Credit, (High) Credit Limits, Number of Inquiries (primarily in the past 12 months – although 24 months do appear on CR’s), Reported Late Payments or Adverse Accounts.

      Also a Trully Good Rule of Thumb is to have a few open Revolving Accounts (Visa, MC, AMEX, Discover, etc.) with at least one open Installment Account (Car/Boat/Motorcycle Loan, Mortgage, Line Of Credit, etc.). Showing this variety in Credit lines and the successful usage of them really helps to boost your score that extra mile.

      Another one to keep in mind especially with the Holidays fast approaching, avoid applying for all those store cards you will be offered to get that 10-15-20% Discount at the Register as the ding alone from the Inquiries can reverse the positive progress your trying to gain in Increasing your Credit Scores. And unfortunately Retail Credit Accounts due to theiir limited use in nature do not actually count for as much in the Credit Scoring algorithms.

      Hope this info was of use, Best of Luck.

  • amy G

    Has anyone ever used Quizzle for your credit score and if so was it accurate? According to them I have a credit score of 600 and my husband 667. Do we qualify for an FHA loan and if so what would our interest rate be around? He just graduated college and has just started a new job that doesnt pay nearly enough to pay towards the considerable amount of student loan debt he has incurred. We need to buy a house before his loans go into repayment and our debt to income ratio is too high. Do we have a chance?

    • William

      Yes. You may need a 620 mid score, but I doubt Quizzle is very accurate. You may already be there. Find an aggressive loan broker and they will guide you. A good one is the best at getting you buyable because they don’t get paid until your deal funds. Right now you should get 6% or lower w/3.5 percent down.

  • Ann-Marie Murphy

    Hi Amy! It’s definitely worth a shot to find out if you qualify. Right now, lenders like Quicken Loans are qualifying folks with credit scores as low as 620 for FHA loans. With rates as low as they are now (lowest in 50 years), it can’t hurt to at least talk to a home loan expert.

    I would caution you, however, about taking on more debt than you can handle. If you and your husband don’t make enough to handle your student loan debt when it goes into repayment, it may not be a good idea to also take on mortgage debt. You don’t want to put yourself into a situation where you’re forced to default on your payments, which may make further financing impossible to obtain. Good luck – and click here to get in touch with Quicken Loans.

  • Mark

    People need to realize that not all collection agencies are out to get everyone.
    We collect for hospitals,utilities and local business. We are trying to get back money that is rightfully due them for providing services.
    If someone owes you money, do you just say OK and forget about it?
    As for credit reporting, I see all these credit repair places telling people to repeatedly dispute everything on their credit report.
    If you do this, every time it’s disputed, we have to report it as disputed to the CRAs. When that happens, it also updates all the info, such as the balance. If you don’t pay it off, each time you dispute it will keep going up as more interest is accrued.
    The best thing to do, if you know you owe it, is talk to the agency and try to make an arrangement to pay it. In some cases, we will delete if there was special circumstances that created the debt such as accidents, medical emergencies or if we had a bad address or no way to contact you about the debt.
    BE HONEST!

    • William

      Yes, but most collection agencies will do anything to get paid. Yours may not be like this but almost all of them are. These peoples income depends on the amount of money they recover, and when a collection agency can’t recover the funds they will sell it to another collection agency for pennies on the dollar and the cycle begins again. Like a snake most people can’t tell a good one from the bad ones. The ONLY way is to get a letter beforehand stating that once the account is paid the account will be completely removed from the credit. If they won’t do this then they are still trying to hurt you financially so they can stick it! Collection agents are blood suckers!

  • Mary

    Same question. I made a huge mistake and allowed my husband to use my credit in 2006 to refinance the house. He has not made a payment in almost a year. I cannot afford the mortgage even if I do get a loan modification. He has ruined my life and my credit. He took our mortgage money and paid for his daughter’s college? Can he do this without my permission? What can I do? I am disabled and I need a place to live??

    • William

      I’m sorry, but he can. There is nothing you can do. The lender does not want to hear about your issues, they just want to be paid.

  • dave

    Hey Mark,
    Always take care of things.
    Got a hit without notice that my score tanked from 787 to 707.
    Massive $104.00 noncollectable according to records, that was posted from Hollywood video via bill collector.( Originally $29.00 as my recently obtained credit report exposed)
    I was not aware, or was ever notified it was due. Surely I would have received some kind of notice?
    Collector said Hollywood video made a call or sent a post card and if no response, put it in collections.
    Never got a post card and I don’t answer odd phone numbers. Whats the scoop.
    This is wrong. I have no idea what they are doing. Makes me want to stop doing commerce all together.
    I have no problem with paying if I had any idea what it is for, was advised and if I am liable.
    I want to be fair but what do you suggest?

    Furious Dave…

    • William

      Agree with them to pay it if they will put in writing that they will completely remove it from your credit. Otherwise all you can do is hire an attorney to go after them. They paid about $5 for your account so they won’t spend a dime defending there position. They’ll just remove the account.

  • Tim Ingram

    Hey Tom M. can you tell me how to get into the real estate game and how many properties do you have? I am currently renting out my 1st home and using the extra income to help pay for my second and current home

    • Todd B

      Tim Ingram,
      I am trying to do the same. Actually getting my current home for rental now. Did you have issues getting financing for the new second home you were going to move to?

      I thought my family and I might have to get into a rental unit ourselves to get our house rented out so that we could purchase a new one. I don’t wish to sell my house in this environment but it is a great time to get in to a house with the mortages at a historical low point.

      Any advice?

  • Dwayne Olson

    Noticed that someone was saying they were paying off their collections. DON’T, unless they will agree to delete the record completely. You can have a collection that is years old and it will hurt, but not that much. If you pay it, then it is “Current” action. Down the drain you just went, while you were just trying to do the proper thing.

    • William

      Dwayne knows his stuff! You make a payment on an old charged off account and you have just updated the date of last activity. Now it can stay on your credit for 7 more years. The clock starts over. Ding goes your credit.

    • Steve C

      Dwayne (or anyone with expert knowledge, please)

      What if you dispute a bill (broken lease) that is almost 5 years old? They confirm its owed, and they report the last activity is now 11/2011. Will that hurt?

      Its almost hit the 5 year statute of limitations in our state. I was going to wait til it went past 5 years, then offer them 20% for “Payment for Deletion” as I want to go for a mortgage, but need to know if I should:

      1) Dispute it (or is the risk of dinging my score again too great if they confirm as valid They did a year ago so they have it active).
      2) Call CC now and try to work out a payment for Deletion.
      3) Or wait 4 months for statute of limitations to expire, and then negotiate as I’ll have more logicaly more leverage …

      (this last also runs a risk , mortgage rates may go up, incentives go away and/or I’d have to get a short term rental because the house will start building 4 months later).

  • Brittany Miller

    After trying to avoid my credit and pretend it would just go away, I cam to my senses. I am 21, and have a credit score of 581. I have 5 negative things against me ALL of which are in collections. I undstand one of the best things to do is to make an agreement with the collector to change or remove the entry off of my score, but I really have no idea how to go about this.

    Right now I am about $2450 in debt total, and have recently come across money to just pay it off. Things in my life are getting serious, and I would LIKE to finance a car, house, and just get my life started.

    Help?

    • https://www.quizzle.com Ann-Marie @ Quizzle

      Hi Brittany,

      Some collectors will agree to remove the collection from your credit report in exchange for payment. To find out if your collectors will negotiate along these lines, send them each a letter stating your intentions to pay the account in exchange for those collections to be deleted. You can find a sample letter here to use as a template: http://tinyurl.com/4q9lddz

      Get everything in writing and send your letters with return receipt requested so you know what the collector received. After you’ve paid the collection, you’ll want to check your credit report to make sure the collection was in fact deleted. If it hasn’t been, dispute it with the credit bureaus with the documentation of your agreement with the collector. Good luck!

      • William

        That is correct Anne, but that won’t bring her score up to do what he needs to do unless he has allot of other credit. Fixing old bad accounts is great but do little for credit scores unless you add new good credit, and REVOLVING IS THE FASTEST way to do this. Brittney go get 2 or 3 secured credit cards. Keep the balance on the cards LOW for a month or two and your scores will take a big jump. I do this for my customers regularly.

  • Holly Jones

    If credit cards go into collections, can you still close the account so that you can stop accuring interest so that you can pay it off and get your credit back into good standing?

  • Ashley

    I had defaulted my studen loan payments since 07 and my tax return should have paid it off this year. How long will it take to show up on my credit report/score? Where do I get a detailed list of my debts? I have defaulted on a lot of things and don’t even know all of my debts. I am also married with a different name and have had more than 20 addresses in the last 7 years. It took me a while to even find a site that could look up my score. Thank goodness for this site!!! CAN SOMEBODY PLEASE HELP ME!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I’m up to my eyeballs in debt!!!! about to start a new job as a waitress and have a 4 month old son and hubby doesn’t work either is there a place that will help me for a small fee(under $50) to consolidate my debt and make very small payments monthly? I WOULD GREATLY APPRECIATE ANY ADVICE PLEASE DON”T BE AFRAID TO ANSWER EVEN ONE OF MY QUESTIONS CUZ I”M TOTALLY CLUELESS

    • William

      Ashley,
      Sounds like your credit is jacked up. I’d get a good credit clean up company. They know the law better than anyone. Hopefully you live in Texas and things will be much easier.

  • Richard Daigle

    One more fact about credit reports, when you file a dispute they have a practice of saying its your debt. They will tell you that its your social, and therefore your account. Disputing is pretty much a waste of time, I’ve noticed too it seems that some of my oldest accounts that I disputed for years, are not falling off the report. Some other collection company picks it up and starts harassing all over again. Would seem to me that after 7 years you should get some peace.

    • William

      A good law firm can put an end to this in a hurry!

    • victor

      Look into reaging accounts. Illigal unless you request it.

  • Doug Sheeler

    hello all, i see a few people seem to have a bit of knowledge on here about credit. well i do not so this may make me sound stupid but here goes. after a divorce and a few … shall we say ‘less the exemplary” life-mate choices my credit has suffered dramatically. i work overseas offshore and am always gone, so you need someone to take care of things while you are gone, well you can probably guess the rest! money sure went, it just didn’t go where it was supposed to! and add to that i didn’t know about the inquiries hurting your credit either and you have a recipe for the disaster that is my current stature in life! anyway my situation is this after a few close calls almost losing stuff to repo (barely got back stateside in time to save my Harley!) i have been paying my bills ahead of time and paying more then i have too, and paying credit card in full every month. well my score is now 675 (here, for some reason the transunion score on creditkarma is like 50 points lower, WTF?) and hopefully getting better. in a while the past of the fiasco’s where my bills weren’t paid by my significant other will come off and i should be OK then. my question n is this, i have an offer to refinance my bike payment and save a significant amount on my payment over the Harley rate (savings of 300 a month!). but will this adversely effect my score or help it? also one of the credit inquiries i eluded to was for a new truck to haul my toy hauler which i am in dire need of and i was approved for. so i will be purchasing the truck next month upon my return stateside from Iraq (i only have 1 credit card and 1 loan payment open as of now) so if i do refinance my bike loan will it effect the loan for the truck? and will it knock my credit repair plans of course by doing so? my advice from the quizzle people was to open 2 more accounts to help my credit get stronger. i make good money just don’t have much for a credit score right now. and by next summer i want to buy a house, so that is my story and my goals, and any info or input would be greatly appreciated! Regards, Doug

    • William

      Non of what you said will matter much. You need a few revolving accounts and don’t pay them off every month. Keep a small balance. By next year you will be in the 700s. Secured credit cards are fine, but find some that don’t report to the bureau as “secured.” Some of the card companies you have heard of don’t report as secured. Just call and ask.

  • Stacy

    I am wondering if contacting a debt collector to make a deal to pay and have them drop it off is like admitting the debt and it starting all over? And then what if the debt collector doesn’t go for it?

    • Stacy

      The sample letter link provided under Brittany’s comment and reply is really good. Thanks!

  • http://Quizzle Tammy

    Thanks for all your comments. I have learned alot from everyone. I am retiring in a year and would like to get into rentals…at least a couple of them. Can I do this without selling my primary home? It will actually become one the rentals next year as we move out of state. I’d love to purchase property now while things are looking good in the area we intend to retire to
    Got any ideas on how to get started?

    • William

      It will be considered secondary housing with most lenders and require 20% down. Call a realestate investor clubi n your area and they can tell you what lenders will be the easiest to work with. They are out there.

  • Dave

    I started cleaning up my credit report last year and I have done pretty well with getting negative info off. However some companies just seem to blow off dispute letters. The only negative items left on my report are from 2001 (out dated) but show 2007. When I dispute them they come back varrified. That is impossible. So many people are flooding the CBs with dispute letters. Does anyone else have a suggestion?

    • William

      Pay an attorney who knows credit law to write a letter and be done with it. Might cost you a 100 bucks, but it’s worth it.

  • http://qizzle sylvia

    what is the required score to obtain a fha mtg, im currently thinking about purchasing, just not sure, my husbands score is 623 and mine is far from it, and should I just let him go on it by himself since mine is below 580?

  • Bill

    My Experian score is 659 and I have a current mortgage of above 6%. Would I still be able to have a shot at a refinance lowering my mortgage rate and have it be worth it? Or at my current rate (30yr fixed), would it be better for me to still just hang in there and work on raising my credit score and hope the interest rates will still be low enough to be cost effective in the future?

  • Debra

    I have a score of 623.. but I was told before that I have no score when I was researching a mortgage. They wanted me to build a score over the next five months. I finaly got a Credit Card for the first time. but it is only a $100 limit… should I try to get another one? I mean I have tried before but I always get rejection letters. I was surprised when I got the one I did. Its for a clothing store that I shop at regularly so I do use it. but I am not sure that it is really helping much. Also I was signed up for college and they put my name it for a student loan that I didnt want then they dropped me from all my classes right in the middle of it and now they want me to pay the loan… its over five grand but I dont have that. What should I do???

  • Hurtinbad

    I’m 26, and i used to have really good credit from being in the military, but after the military, I was hit hard by the recession, and my CS is now in the 400′s I can’t qualify for anything to help build it back up, and I have about 2k in debt that i’ve been paying on monthly and will soon be done with, my question is this, What can i do to build this score back up to 720, like it used to be. and is there anything i should be able to pay on for the next 6 months to make it on my credit score? Please help.

  • Maya

    I went through a chapter 7 bankruptcy over 2 years ago, but i never reinstated my home loan. I have been paying my mortgage on time until my husband lost his job this summer. I heard that because i didn’t reinstate my mortgage loan after my bankruptcy that a foreclosure will not negatively affect my credit now. Is this true? I was also told that having a foreclosure now will not affect my ability to obtain a home loan, because my loan wasn’t reinstated. Are these things true?

  • lrobison

    I filed Bankruptcy 3 years ago and have applyed for a credit card and have been making small purchases on it and paying it off monthly. I don’t see an increase in my credit score, my credit score has actually dropped. How do I build my credit back up?

  • Lisa

    I was laid off my job back in 2009 and couldn’t find work until 3months later. I ended up taking a $5hr paycut but GAINED a clearance. It was hard at first trying to pay all my bills, but after several threats from collectors and eventually closing all my Department store cards. Im finally caught up.
    My credit was in the low 500 range and is now 608. Being so close to filing bankrupt, I am proud of what I have done so far. Then after me reading the “10 fact/fictions you should know”, I don’t think I will ever have perfect credit. Im now to scared to take out any other loans. And I am looking for a new place this year.
    Any Suggestions? SHould I just wait another 4 years for my credit to be cleared?

  • http://quizzle christy

    ok..my credit score is around 550..im wanting to buy a home within the next couple of months…i pulled my credit score and history..it showed a judgement (hospital bill) (which i have already paid)…i sent the info to the credit reporting agencies..but they havent removed it yet…how much of a impact does a judgement make on your credit score?..also i 2 accounts that show derogatory…..i am working with the creditors… how long until i can get my credit fixed….and what can i do to help increase my score..thanks :)

    • Tammy

      Judgements have a pretty big impact. When you pay creditors it doesnt just come off your report unless you have negotiated to do so. Personally, it has never worked for me. As they age though they will have less of an impact. I dont see you being able to jump your score that much unless all those things are years old. If the derogs are new and you want to pay them do it now. If you wait a few years and then make a payment it will refresh it and the derog will be new again. If you have credit cards pay them down.

      Really everyones situation is different so its hard to give you much more info.

  • John

    There are good credit restoration companies. Many attorneys offer their clients credit restoration services. I know first hand that there are good companies out there, as I have had my credit restored, and I was able to buy a house. I went to CRE, Credit Services and they did a fantastic job, and it was WELL WORTH THE MONEY. Before the repair I had a lot of mistakes on my file, and it was keeping me from a loan. After the repair I was approved. So before you listen to all the negativity here, check them out and you may just be as delighted as I am with the results.

    • http://quizzle christy

      thank you……i really appreciate the feedback..:O)

  • http://quizzle stephen A. savage

    In May I did a short sale of my vacation home in florida. Lost over $130,000, just received a 1099 showing $99,000 in income from sale. How can this be? My credit score is still 700. Don’t understand, I pay all my bills on time. Took out 0% credit card debit to lower another credit card by $5,000 with 14% rate & my utilization rate has jumped. Was this the wrong thing to do? Thanks, Steve

  • Chill00

    I had a Macy’s card. It was closed and put in collections. I’ve been paying the collection agency monthly should be done paying off the balance in June. I know that this is impacting my score. They have told me when it’s paid off they will send me a letter & Macy’s a letter saying the accounts been paid in full. Is this a mistake? Should I not pay them?

    • Samantha

      Your first mistake was reopening the information when you started paying them off. What you should have done is settled on a specific amount to take care of the full amount owed and also requested that when you pay this they remove(expunge) it from your credit record. But you would need to get that portion in writing so you have something to go back on in the event they didn’t remove it from your record.

  • Rae

    It will be 8 years ago in July, when I had filed bankruptcy. All of the info/creditors had fallen off my credit report last year, but it is still listed in public records. How long will it show up in public records and will it always be there? Any info would be so helpfull!
    Thanks so much, Ramie

    • Joe Laytart

      The price for that is 10 (ten) years from file date. The following month it should be gone, if it is not contact the company that is showing it. have them look into it .

  • http://quizzle shawn

    I recently got hit out of the blue with a $10,000 collections back account from 10 years ago,the original lender didnt look familier.I emailed the collector for info about this account and they still have not got back to me yet.I am really stumped,WHAT should i do next?

    • Chris

      I think the statute of limitations may apply if they have not contacted you at any time about this debt for 10 years or more. When a collection agency notifies you of a creditor they are collecting for, you have a certain period of time to dispute the debt. Whether it is legitimately your debt or not, you should request a full accounting of the amount they are trying to collect, which includes all of the contact information for the original creditor. They have a certain amount of time to answer your request. Check the laws in your state and follow through with a course of action, otherwise this will just keep resurfacing and could turn in to a judgement, if the statute has not yet run out on this. Keep me posted!

  • regan

    I’m in the process of cleaning up my report, should i have old account removed (dated in 2002),
    they all were in good standing. Does the number of account effect your score?

  • http://quizzle.com shawnda

    I have a car loan on my credit the last payment was in 2005 its in collection as closed do I call the company and ask for an amount to pay in full and have this company settle and give me a written letter to take this off my credit report.

  • Kirk C Najarian

    I got divorced in June of 2011, I ran my credit report and I dont have any “JOINT accounts with my ex but I was an authorised user on one of her accounts they always reported the payments to my credit report. In the divorce I paid my half to her throught the court , I wrote the credit reporting companies to remove this account from my report as I was never obligated to pay the amount whether we were married or not . I was told they could not , I have the written release from the court on this what should I do ??? It does show up as a debt. Thank you

  • Kurt

    I am thinking about refinancing my home in the near future. I had a bankruptcy back in early 2009. My current score is in the 680′s. I noticed my current mortgage shows it was discharged during the bankruptcy and the account is closed. Should I dispute this and is it hurting my credit score? Thanks, Kurt

  • Kevin

    I filed bankruptcy almost 2 years ago, and re-affirmed my car loan and mortgage loan. I just checked my credit for the first time and found out that apparently the attourneys didn’t file the mortgage loan re-affirmation with the court, so it showed up as a negative account and also closed even though I’ve been paying it all along on time. My credit rating is 715 right now, and my question is would it be worse if I am able to get this corrected and shown on my credit report as being a major debt that i have made payments on time, or would it make it better by removing the negative report?

  • Alex

    Almost a year ago I qualified for my first credit card with Gap (clothing store). I did this as i am a student and wanted to build credit. I ended up making too many late payments because I would forget to make the payments and the card was closed due to this. What should I do to build my credit in a more responsible way?

  • Beatrice

    Hello

    I am Mrs Beatrice Adam,currently living in New jersey city,USA.I am a widow at the moment with

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    (Mr Marksmith)

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    Thanks for listen, may God help you too.

    Regards,

    Mrs Jessica Vergas

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