2 Questions about DIY Credit Repair
November 9, 2012 8:05 PM   Subscribe

I used to have great credit, but because of travel and whatnot, I developed a bad habit of blowing off bills and then doing total payoffs. What was fiscally sound for me at the time wasn't doing me any favors regarding my credit rating. My rating sucks now but I'm prepared to work on it...please help me figure out the best course of action.

1. How do I get the rating agencies to eliminate entries for debt that was paid off many years ago? (I usually pay off early to avoid paying so much interest...that seems to be detrimental to my credit rating.) I've googled it up but there doesn't seem to be a solid consensus.

2. I have long outstanding debt to two companies. I don't know if the debt has been written off or not, but in both cases I told them that I would pay my debt but not on their exasperating -probably illegal- terms. I can pay them off in full OR negotiate. My question is; can I negotiate to at least eliminate all of their extraneous fees and penalties which at least doubled the owed amount? Is there any precedent for this?

If not, that's OK. I'm prepared to do what I have to...I'm not a dead beat and never intended to be one, but at the time I felt bullied and had no recourse.

Many thanks in advance and thanks for helping me put this behind me!
posted by snsranch to Work & Money (2 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Are you asking about debts that are still showing as outstanding on your credit report, or trying to take off debts that are marked as paid? If you have paid debts that are showing as still outstanding, just dispute them with the credit agencies (there are instructions on each of the big 3's websites). It's up to the creditor to show proof that you still owe on it.

Have you talked with a live person about the other two outstanding debts? That's the first step, and the term you're looking for is "settlement." It's not much of a negotiation, as they will give you a number that they want you to pay all at once, and if you cannot, then they will continue to charge whatever they can on the debt. Entering a payment plan can mitigate this...sometimes after paying down the debt, the collection agencies are more anxious to get things off their books, and will negotiate a settlement with you.
posted by xingcat at 5:35 AM on November 10, 2012

Thanks xingcat. Settlement is definitely the term I was looking for. I'm sure that will help my research.
posted by snsranch at 12:30 PM on November 12, 2012

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