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11 Credit Myths: Don’t Fall for ‘Em

  Forget everything you’ve heard about credit. Well, maybe not everything. “Living within your means” is always important, but you should be willing to rethink what you know. Because when it comes to debt, credit reports, and credit scores, conventional wisdom is peppered with myths, misunderstandings, and misrepresentations. Credit is a tool. Like any tool, […]

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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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Entering payment plan will not “restart the clock” for removing charge off

Dear Experian,

I have a charge off from 2009. I am in a payment plan. Does this mean I started the clock over on when the charge off will be removed?

– EYJ

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Paid account will not be deleted from your report immediately

Dear Experian,

How can an account I paid off and closed still be on my report? It has been there since 2008.

– CBH

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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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“Statement of dispute” delaying mortgage refinance

Dear Experian,

We are refinancing our house. There was an account on my husband’s credit report that he had disputed at the time it was reported. It is still showing disputed. The mortgage lender told us they needed a letter from the company stating it is no longer being disputed. We did that. Now they are saying they need the statement of dispute to be removed from the credit report, and they are telling us the credit bureau is going to charge us to do that. I have never heard of the credit bureau requiring payment. Is this correct?

– MMI

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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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