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Hello everyone,

I am new to this and truly need help and advice, as I hope that you can help.

I really need to know where to start in clearing out bad debt that is on my credit report from when I ws in school back in 1998 and 1999. I also need assistance in how to get my FICO score higher and if paying off certain bills like hospital, telephone, cable (which are all in collections now) will assist in that task.

I just pulled my credit report and I have a lot of inquiries that I did not make. Does inquires affect your score and credit?

Also, I was told by a friend even if I pay the bills they will stay on my credit report and affect me for 10 years, just once they are paid it will say satisfied after collection agency took over (something like that) is that correct?

Let me thank everyone in advance for all your help.

Divine One...

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I know it can be daunting, but start by reading through some of the stickied threads here and doing searches for specific topics. Look at your credit report. Break the things you want to address into manageable pieces and start addressing them.

A few things that might help:

-Negative information on your report should only stay for 7.5 years, so some of your older tradelines you are talking about probably shouldn't be on there.

-Investigate a lot on here before paying anything in collections. In many cases this can lower, not raise, your credit score, and the negative information can stay on the report long after you pay the bills (along the lines of what your friend was saying).

-Inquiries can negatively impact your score if they are "hard pulls." Again, read up on here for tips on removing inquiries.

Again, I know it is daunting, but it sounds like you have some areas in which you can improve your credit report. After a few days of reading threads on here, you will feel empowered instead of powerless, and you will almost certainly know more about credit and credit law than the collection agencies.

EDIT: Haha, and remember that there are helpful people here who will chip in to help once you help yourself a bit by educating yourself. All the above people answered while I was typing my initial response!

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Hi there, all of the above information is great, especially pointing you in the direction of the many wonderful stickies, they are like the FAQ of this place and are a very valuable place to start.

Like someone else mentioned above, most TLs from 1999 or 1998 should have fallen off by now, with a few exceptions, such as bankruptcy, judgements, etc.

However, since you mentioned "while I was in school", would any of those TLs happen to be student loans? You see, Student loans are one of the rare few TLs that do not "fall off" after a certain amount of time and are not subject to the SOL (statute of limitations). Student loans only fall off after they have been paid off completely (7 years after the last payment made to pay them off).

Good luck and welcome to the forums, it's been a wealth of information for me in just the short time I've been here.


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