I had a old cell phone bill that had slipped through the cracks, that was not included in my bankruptcy, the total amount was $560 and change. I had been getting calls occasionally from a law firm to settle the bill and since I thought it had been included in my bankruptcy I just dismissed it and thought they would eventually figure it out and quit calling me.
Let me pause for a minute and explain how important it is to make sure all of you debts are included if you should file bankruptcy, just to make sure, you should get a copy of your credit report and make sure all of your debts on your credit report are listed in your bankruptcy, make sure your attorney has a copy of the credit report also.
I found out that this cell phone bill was not included and when they called today I asked them what they would take to settle the debt and they said they they would settle for approximately $226. I asked them if I could make a counter offer and the lady said that I could so I told her that I could pay half of that, approximately $113. She supposedly went to ask a manager and came back with approval to accept my offer.
If you find yourself in a position to negotiate an old debt don’t be afraid to offer them less and maybe I could have gotten it reduced even further. Let me leave you with two other points, the first is to always get the settlement in writing before making the payment and the second is never give them access to your checking account by giving them the account number.
If you have had similar success I would love to hear about it… just post below or send me a private message. Click Here to go to Credit Cards For Bad Credit Page
How do you get a copy of your credit report?
There are many credit reporting agencies, but the three major credit bureaus that are used most often are: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. It is recommended that you check for inaccuracies at least once every twelve (12) months.
If you have been turned down for credit in the past sixty (60) days due to negative information being reported by the credit bureau, the report is free. Be sure to enclose a copy of your recent credit denial letter for proof.
If you have not been turned down for credit but want to get a copy of your credit report you will need to enclose a check or money order made payable to the
credit reporting agency in the amount the bureau’s charge in your state. See credit report agencies contact information below.
Due to the identity theft and credit fraud that is occurring these days, the credit bureaus are attempting to reduce consumer fraud risk by making sure you are who you say you are. It is necessary to include copies of your government identification card and a utility bill. Accepted identification includes one of the following:
• Drivers License
• State ID Card
• Military ID Card
Additionally, you will also usually be required to provide a copy of one of the following:
• Utility Bill
• Bank Statement
• Insurance Statement
To protect your personal identification information, the credit bureaus will not mail back correspondence that you send them, so don’t send originals; always send copies. Make sure the copies are clear and legible and enlarge the copies if necessary. Always be sure to include all identification information as follows: full name including middle initial (and generation such as Jr., Sr., II, III, etc.), your previous address for the past two years, social security number and date of birth.
It might be wise to call the credit bureau reporting agency, before you mail your request letter, to verify mailing addresses due to the fact they seem to change their post office box numbers quite frequently. The toll free telephone numbers and websites of the three major credit bureaus are:
Toll Free Lines Websites
• Experian 888-397-3742 www.experian.com
• Equifax 800-997-2493 www.equifax.com
• Transunion 877-322-8228 www.transunion.com
From the time you fill out your first credit card application, or apply for your first credit card, your credit file is already in the works. The information being reported to your credit file is being supplied by your creditors, not from you. Your creditors supply the credit bureau companies with your personal and financial account information to create a credit bureau history that is accessed by your social security number and date of birth. The credit bureaus in turn sell this information to credit card companies, banks and insurance companies in the form of a credit report.
When applying for credit, your potential lenders will access your “financial report card” and score you according to your grade point average. Your score, for example, will either “pass” you to getting your first credit card or “flunk” you by denying you any credit at all. When starting to rebuild credit it is important to know where you are currently at, that is why it is a good idea to know what is on your credit report.
Your credit file includes the following information
- I.D. SECTION : Personal information such as your name, address, phone number, date of birth, social security number and your place of employment are listed in this section.
- CREDIT HISTORY SECTION: Your creditor(s) name and your payment history are reported here in this section whether it is positive or negative. The creditor’s name, the account number, type of account (joint, individual etc.), when the account was opened, total months your account has been reported, date of your last payment or charge, your highest balance, the term of the loan balance due on the account, status of the account (rated from 1 to 9…1 being best and 9 the worst) and the date of the last account update from your creditor.
- COLLECTION AGENCY ACCOUNTS : Recorded here are all of your accounts which your creditor(s) have turned over to a third party collection agency for collection.
- COURTHOUSE RECORDS : Any public record information such as bankruptcy filings, tax liens, judgments, repossessions, and records of marriage and divorce are shown here.
- ADDITIONAL INFORMATION : If your former addresses and past employment are reported by your creditor(s), they will be shown here.
- INQUIRY SECTION : Inquiries are listed when a creditor requests a copy of your credit file. These inquiries are generated when you apply for a credit card, bank loan or mortgage. Inquiries are also made when a creditor checks your credit file periodically for possible credit line increases, provided your accounts are up to date, or credit suspension if derogatory marks are viewed. Companies that provided you with promotional offers are also listed here but only you can view these, your creditors will not see these entries. These inquiries remain on your credit report for up to two years. Too many inquiries will reduce your overall credit score so be a smart shopper and stop shopping for a while.
If you are serious and want to rebuild credit then this information enclosed in your credit report is important to know.