Score Advice

Credit card paid in full but does not show zero balance

Posted on Mar 13 2013 by

Dear Experian,

I pay my credit cards off in full before the payment is due, yet my report shows a 60 percent utilization ratio. Why is this happening and how can I prevent this besides getting more available credit or not using my cards?

- RBR

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Alarm company can turn past due account over to collections

Posted on Mar 13 2013 by

Dear Experian,

I have a dispute with a security alarm company. They have implied a contract extension on a policy that I did not approve. I have not made a payment on the policy since November 2012 and am concerned that they may eventually turn the balance over to collections, thus negatively affecting my credit, though they have not threatened such action yet.

Is there an arrangement I can make with the credit reporting companies that can prevent harm to my credit in the event that issues with this company escalate? That is, can I prevent them from damaging my credit history by reporting this unpaid balance? Or is my only option to pay them?

- JSS

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Name change after marriage won’t hurt credit scores

Posted on Mar 13 2013 by

Dear Experian,

I am married for a second time. Can having my maiden name and two married names negatively affect my credit score? My “middle” score is 780 but I am trying to improve to 800 plus.

- TEV

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Getting removed as joint credit card account holder

Posted on Feb 28 2013 by

Dear Experian,

I am a cosigner and the secondary user on a credit card. I am not the primary user. I want my name removed from the account. I called the credit card company, and they will not remove me. Is there a way to remove my name? The primary user tried also, and they still won’t do it.

- WKN

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Joint accounts with husband can help wife qualify for credit

Posted on Feb 28 2013 by

Dear Experian,

I have been married for many years and have always had credit with my husband. If I ever need to apply for credit on my own, will I be able to get approved based on the good credit I have had with him?

- EDD

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Collection account and charged off account for same debt in credit report

Posted on Feb 28 2013 by

Dear Experian,

If an account is “charged off” and sold to collection agency, how can both accounts be used against you? My credit report shows two negative accounts. I owed $1,900, but now one account shows the original amount owed and a separate account shows $2,300 owed to a collection agency. Will both accounts stay on my report for seven years? The original account was four years ago, but the collection is only three months old.

- VNW

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Beware of calls offering marketing opt out

Posted on Feb 13 2013 by

Dear Readers, Consumers have reported receiving automated calls asking for their Social Security numbers and other personal information in order to opt out of marketing mailing lists. Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), Consumer Reporting Agencies (CRAs) are permitted to include your name on lists used by creditors or insurers to make firm offers […]

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Creditors not required to notify you before reporting delinquency

Posted on Feb 13 2013 by

Dear Experian,

Do creditors have any obligation to notify you directly of an impending report of a late payment other than a monthly statement?

- BNF

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Company suing after account deleted from credit report

Posted on Feb 13 2013 by

Dear Experian,

Last year, I disputed an account with you and the other CRAs. About a month after the dispute, you and the other CRAs deleted that item off my credit reports. Now the company that placed that erroneous account is attempting to sue me. Can I request a document from you and the other CRAs validating that the account was deleted?

- AFG

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Settled or charged off accounts in your credit report are “potentially negative”

Posted on Jan 16 2013 by

Dear Experian,

If an account is paid off/closed, settled, or charged off, why would it still be showing as potentially negative? Is there any way to get these removed so they no longer affect me negatively?

- JNG

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Paying off account will not restart the seven year time frame

Posted on Jan 16 2013 by

Dear Experian,

If a charged off credit card is about to drop off and I pay it off, can the creditor restart the seven year time frame on my report?

Thank you.

- PYR

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Account reported as potentially negative after bankruptcy discharged

Posted on Jan 16 2013 by

Dear Experian,

I went through Chapter 13 bankruptcy. I paid all that I owed, and my Chapter 13 was discharged in March 2012. I requested an item be deleted since the seven years was up, and my request was denied. They said it was because the account was brought current. How can that be?

- GLD

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Getting a free credit report when your application is declined

Posted on Jan 16 2013 by

Dear Experian,

I was denied credit based on a credit report from Experian. Can I order a free credit report online from Experian if I have already used my free annual credit report within the last 12 months?

- SJA

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Cosigning for apartment could hurt but might help credit scores

Posted on Jan 02 2013 by

Dear Experian,

My grandson wants us to cosign for an apartment. Does this affect our credit score in any way or just if he doesn’t pay rent?

- MTP

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Contacting collection agency won’t add negative entry

Posted on Jan 02 2013 by

Dear Experian,

I have an unpaid charge-off that I want to pay off. I’ve contacted the creditor showing on my current credit report but they advised me that they sold the account in 2011. The “sold to” company has never contacted me for re-payment. How can I go about paying off this debt and stopping the monthly reporting to the credit agencies? I’m afraid if I contact the “sold to” company there will be another negative entry on my report, in addition to the original creditor.

Thank you.

- BLD

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Fraud alert should not cause an increase in apartment fees

Posted on Jan 02 2013 by

Dear Experian,

My apartment complex raised my fees because you reported, “APPLICANT: High Probability SSN Belongs to Another. There is an excellent chance that the Social Security number on the application belongs to someone else. This is highly indicative of fraudulent activity. Carefully verify the identity of the applicant before proceeding.” Does Experian make such claims?

- ATR

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Student loan debt listed as “government claim”

Posted on Jan 02 2013 by

Dear Experian,

On one of my student loan accounts this was posted: “Government Claim/Insurance Claim.” What does that mean?

- RSC

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Allowing late mortgage payments for short sale

Posted on Dec 19 2012 by

Dear Experian,

If I’m planning to do a short sale but have not yet gone behind on monthly payments, is there any advantage to not going behind on payments? In other words, does your credit get damaged exponentially in that scenario? If it doesn’t really matter, then wouldn’t it be wiser to just stop payments now and save the money?

- MTS

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Make medical payments to the collection company not to the hospital

Posted on Dec 19 2012 by

Dear Experian,

I have been making monthly payments for a hospital bill. The hospital has stopped all correspondence and continues to cash my checks. They have also reported on my credit report with no reduction in debt updated. The report states collection even though they are accepting payment.

- DLR

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Full account numbers not shown on your personal report

Posted on Dec 19 2012 by

Dear Experian,

I see that your report displays my bank account number, as well as several current account numbers for credit cards, etc. Does anyone who requests a credit report on me see all this personal information?

- GNG

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It’s free to dispute information

Posted on Dec 19 2012 by

Dear Experian,

We want to fix our credit report, but when we called Experian we were told that we would have to pay money for it. Why do you say on your website that it is free to fix credit reports?

- PSL

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Medical collection accounts and your credit report

Posted on Dec 05 2012 by

Dear Experian,

Can a collection agency sell your medical debt to another collection agency in order to keep it on your credit report when it’s coming close to the seven year mark?

- BTL

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“Requests viewed only by you” do not affect credit scores

Posted on Dec 05 2012 by

Dear Experian,

On my credit report in the section “Requests for your credit history summary,” there is a “Requests viewed only by you” section. One creditor has about 62 requests in the past two years, and I don’t have an account with them. Does this affect my credit score every time they check my credit? Or, is this just for their records to send me offers and does not affect me? I did not apply for a credit card from them ever.

- JYG

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Mortgage application denied because of inactive credit history

Posted on Dec 05 2012 by

Dear Experian,

How can I get my credit file updated? I have paid off two loans and made every payment on time. However, when I tried to get preapproved for a home loan I was told my credit report was inactive because there has been no change to my report in six months.

- PAT

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Lender may check credit report after car is repossessed

Posted on Dec 05 2012 by

Dear Experian,

Why is my old creditor pulling my credit report? I had a car that I could not afford after being laid off. I ended up giving the car back and my account was charged off. I have no open accounts with them, so why are they pulling my credit report one year later?

- CLU

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