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Roommate’s credit could be hurt if added to credit card account

Dear Experian,

I added my roommate onto my credit card and lost my job. I had difficulty paying it off and it was closed. Now, her credit has been affected. I didn’t even tell her that I added her, and she never used the card. What can I do to restore her credit?

– GNW

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Bankruptcy may prevent qualifying for a credit card

Dear Experian,

How can I get a credit card after a bankruptcy so I can rebuild my credit?

– MBD

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Unreported auto loan could be shown as collection after voluntary repossession

Dear Experian,

I bought a car about 2 years ago at a “buy-here-pay-here” lot. I have never missed a payment and have been a good customer. Since buying the car I have spent over $3,000 in repairs. I recently have been looking to get a new vehicle since the repairs are killing me financially. I was talking to a dealer about a trade in. Much to my surprise, he told me I should simply just give the car back to them. He said to check my credit report and see if they report the payments, and if I did not see it on there, which I didn’t, then giving my car back would not hurt my credit. Is it simply this easy? I am going to go upside down on the car $5,000 so it sounds so much more to my advantage, but I worry the risk of having a repo on my credit report. Any advice?

– TDB

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Charged off student loans still in credit report after being paid in full

Dear Experian,

I have three student loans from about 12 years ago that where charged off. I paid them off in full two years ago, yet they are still reporting on my credit report. They are being reported as paid in full; however, next to that it lists a loan amount and still shows a balance. The loan amount would be the original amount borrowed, but there must be a mistake since it shows a balance even though it states paid in full. Is this affecting my credit score? Should I get a letter stating paid in full from the lender and send it in to you?

– MKD

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Debt consolidation might help, but also could hurt your credit

Dear Experian,

Does debt consolidation for credit cards with high interest rates help your credit?

– SRO

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Obtaining a free report after being declined or adverse action is taken

Dear Experian,

I was approved for a credit card in October 2013. I have never exceeded the limit and have made all payments on time. I just received a notice that they are reducing my credit limit to the same amount as my current balance on the card. The reasons state, “Derogatory public record information, too few accounts currently paid as agreed, length of time of credit established, and lack of recent installment loan information.” One of the other credit reporting companies will not release a free credit report. This doesn’t seem right to me. What should I do?

– PSJ

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Asking your lender to reduce the credit limit on a credit card could hurt your credit scores

Dear Experian,

I have one credit card with a zero balance and a $10,000 limit. Will my credit score be hurt if I reduce my limit to $5,000?

– CGC

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No credit history despite having several open accounts

Dear Experian,

I recently tried to apply for a car loan. They told me I was denied because they could not find any of my credit history information. I have a few credit cards from department stores, so I’m not sure why this happened. What can I do to have my information updated?

– BMR

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Using your credit report to compile a complete list of your creditors and debts

Dear Experian,

How do I find out what I really owe and if any creditor will settle for less if I can pay off the balance? Can I get a list of all my creditors from you?

– CYD

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Difference between “balance-to-limit ratio” and “debt-to-income” ratio

Dear Experian,

What is the appropriate balance-to-limit or debt-to-income ratio? I do not maintain a balance on my credit cards but worry that I have credit limits that are too high and could impact my overall credit.

– TBL

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