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Everyone knows you are supposed to pay back your debt and that it's your fault, so let's just get that out in the open. Now let's talk about what you can do about your credit to get you in the clear with a little time and a little work. In many cases, it's not the initial amount that is the problem, it's the late fees and the over the limit fees that are insane! The worst part is that the late fees are putting you over the limit! Each one of those fees can be up to $34 a piece! There are some great guides here that are very detailed with tons of information, mine is going to be pretty short and specific.
The first step is to get your credit report. If you are denied credit for any reason, they are required to give you a copy of your credit report. Or you can get a copy of your credit report once a year at many free sites. You need to get one from each of the credit reporting agencies: Experian, TransUnion and Equifax and compare each one. Some creditors report to only one agency and I have seen scores that are 100 points off from each agency! So you need to make sure you look over each one.
You now have 2 options when you see the balances that you owe. The first option is to dispute them. If you are doing it in the traditional form, then you simply have to write them a letter and tell them the reason for the dispute. Nowadays, you can now go online and do the whole process online! When you dispute the item, the burden then falls on the creditor and they have 30 days to respond to the dispute. If they don't respond, then it is off your report! This does sometimes happen, as the creditors are very busy and sometimes it is not worth the effort to find your files and report back to the credit reporting agency. This can always be your first option.
The second option is to take the bull by the horns and pay the bills back. but make sure to follow this plan.
Most of the time, if the bills were charged off, then the original company sold them to a collection agency for pennies on the dollar. It is the job of those companies to get the most out of you, since they paid very little for your account. That is why they will usually offer you some type of deal, and that is what you are looking for. If they haven't offered you a settlement, or if they have, you need to contact them. Tell them you are trying to buy a house, and you really want this off your credit report. Have them tell you what you owe, then tell them you can't pay the whole thing. Tell them that you are tight on cash, but trying to resolve this. Tell them that you have money, but you only have 50%, but you have it in cash. Ask if they will take 50%. Most of the time they will take it because what do they have now? Nothing!
Now here is the very important part. Make them send you that bill in writing that says they will accept 50%. Don't pay them over the phone or make a deposit or anything. Remember, their job is to get as much as possible out of your in order to get to the total balance, so you need to stay in control of the situation. When the bill gets to you, PAY IT. Put a cashiers check or money order in the mail to them and then tell them that they need to send you another letter that says that it is satisfied. When the letter arrives that says it is satisfied, send that to the credit reporting agencies. They will then update your credit and it will improve!
This is one of the best ways to make it a winning situation for the collection agencies and you. If you have any other questions, please send me an email. Thanks again for reading and I hope this helps you improve your credit score!
PS Thanks for taking the time to read this, please leave a feedback rating if you learned something you didn't know
so I can see how we need to improve. Thank you!