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How I Repaired My Own Credit

September 1st, 2015 4:56 AM by Jackie A. Graves, President

George M. knew his credit was bad. But how bad? He wasn’t sure. But in June 2014 he decided to find out, so he ordered his free annual credit reports and requested his free credit scores (available online as part of Credit.com’s free credit report summary, and elsewhere).

As he expected, it wasn’t good. Child support, a tax lien and collection accounts made up the bulk of his report, and a credit score of 520 reflected that.

But instead of just giving up, he decided to see what he could do to turn it around.

First he tackled the child support. His report listed a $168,000 child support case. Although there was a zero balance and it noted “paid as agreed,” he wanted it off his reports. Additionally, his driver’s license had been suspended for some time. He contacted the state, and a week later received a letter indicating that his driver’s license had been reinstated. Then he disputed the item with the credit reporting agencies (CRAs) and it disappeared from his reports.

Next up: a tax lien for $13,800. “I allowed time to pass with the IRS,” he wrote in a comment to the Credit.com blog. “…the IRS only has 10 years to collect a tax debt and after that they can’t collect a penny. There are a few scenarios to avoid but they only have 10 years. I requested a ‘Removal of Federal Tax Lien’ from the IRS and got one. I took that to the Clerk of Court, had it registered in the public system, disputed it with the CRAs and they removed the item.”

Next, he turned his attention to the collection accounts. He had several collection accounts on his reports, as a result of medical bills after a visit to the ER a few years prior. He says he reached out to the collectors and politely offered to settle them in exchange for getting them removed from his credit reports. There was some back and forth involved, and he refused to pay until he received confirmation in writing that the accounts would no longer be reported once he resolved them.

Posted by Jackie A. Graves, President on September 1st, 2015 4:56 AM

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