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ok first thing is first i really wana thank madmonkey for his newbie starter list that did help a bit, but i just feel very overwhelmed by all this maybe im trying to take in too much at one time idk. Anyways here is my situation it starts off with me being young and dumb.. ( like you havent heard that before) well anyway recently in the last year I have gotten engaged :shock: thats a whole different stress, but we have been trying for home loans and getting denied so I have set my goal of fixing my credit because i don't want to deal with this bad credit for the rest of my life. Anyway im wondering about this debt verification, should i start out with that right away, and if a certian amount of time has past say year(s) will this still work, or if i should just start going down the list on my credit report one by one. If anyone can help ease my stress it would be greatly appreciated thank you

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First you have to figure out what is still within SOL for your state, that is if they can still sue you legally for the debts. Most states for this average about 4 years. Any debts out of SOL you need to pull all 3 reports at annualcreditreport.com for free, then dispute the baddies as "not mine" or "verify all information". You may get lucky and some will drop off by not responding to the dispute.

Whatever is left, even though your FICO scores will not rise by paying the collections, if you are going to buy a home, they will require you to pay all of them before issuing the mortgage loan, so this would be the main exception that you would actually pay a collection agency. In all cases, try to arrange a PFD (pay for delete) so it comes off your report, otherwise the item will just be updated to PAID and again that won't raise your score.

Take a year if you need to to get your credit in tip-top shape, as even if you barely qualify for a mortgage, the payments are insane compared to what someone else would pay for the home with better credit. It makes a big difference... hundreds a month.

Lots more help around here...


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Welcome to the board and I will make this as painless as possible.

1) Get a copy of all 3 of your reports from the CRAs. Using a 3 in 1 report will not be as detailed as a report directly from them.

2) Start going through each negative account and find whatever discrepancies you can for disputing.

3) Once you have your list of negative accounts with discrepancies, you can start disputing. Some like to start with "not mine" then work their way down the list of reasons. Start with the oldest accounts first as there is a good chance that it will just be removed since the CA may no longer have any paperwork to verify the account or they will just not respond in time, both resulting in a deletion.

4) Don't do more than a handful of disputes at a time for each CRA. Since the people working for the CRAs have a time limit for disputing accounts, they may not investigate them properly and just mark them as verified with one of their codes.

Things to remember:

- READ, READ, READ!! Read as much here as you can on disputing and different methods of doing so. You have a long road ahead of you and credit repair doesn't happen overnight.

- Don't be afraid to ask questions and don't be offended if someone tells you to try and do a search for the subject. I'm sure many of the questions you have alreay have been answered at one point or another. The Search function is your friend.

- Read the sticky on the abbreviations that you will come across all the time and don't be offended if someone asks you to read it and become familiar with credit speak.

- Just because one CRA deletes doesn't mean the other will either.

- The CRAs do not accept a copy of another CRAs report to get them to delete an account that the other CRA removed.

- The CRAs don't always accept documentation for disputes if you do them by mail.

- You are better off disputing by mail because it protects your ability to request a MOV if an account comes back verified.

Hope this helps and I'm sure others will chime in with a few quickies too. GL on your credit repair journey!

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i do have one other question the other day my fiance' inquired about a home loan since it has been 9 months since the last time and we thought that we had been making strides in the right direction ( which aparently we weren't ) but does that hurt my reports by inquiring

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inquiries do affect your score.....but not that badly. FICO counts all mortage inquiries within a 14 day period as ONE single inquiry, FYI.

Inquiries to your credit are like small dents to a car: they don't matter too much if you're driving an old rusted out Pinto (bad credit), but do affect more if you're driving a CLK Mercedes (FICO above 700)

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