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Help Me to Help My Soldier!


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4 replies to this topic

#1 rizzo756

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Posted 28 December 2011 - 05:37 PM

Hi everyone,

I am new to creditboards but I am also a military spouse. I have found myself browsing up here reading some of the postings from other military members trying to get some advice for helping my spouse. His credit is pretty bad and I on the other hand have very good/excellent credit. I work full time and make a decent income. However, since the beginning of our relationship have been footing the brunt of our major purchases (house, cars, etc. are all in my name only). I have not placed myself in any sort of financial bind as our house was based on my credit & income alone. He had a foreclosure within 2 years of purchasing our home, so we couldn't get a VA loan & missed out on the first time housebuyer's tax credit as well :-( We only have 1 car note on my car which I pay myself (Our other 2 vehicles were paid in full). I have all the revolving credit since he can't get a credit card. I have reached my limit though on what I am willing to take on. He wants a new car when he gets back and I would love to get to a point where we can build together but at the moment, I refuse to co-sign.

I want to help him to begin rebuilding; however I find that I am apprehensive about tangling our finances since his credit is so poor. I have major concerns on this....

1. I have POA while he is in Korea for a year and could begin working on some of his past credit issues (ie. settlements, PFR, etc.). But I am concerned about opening this can of worms and getting myself involved with his past transgressions. One of us needs good credit and I cannot afford to lose mine. His debts were all incurred before we married about 4 years ago. Can this open the door for creditors pursuing me?

2. I have found that he is continuing to not make the best decisions when it comes to credit and finances, although he has improved. He is a kind of a live for the moment person whereas I always think about the future. Is there a lot of temptation for soldiers to extend themselves beyond their means? I ask because if this is going to be a constant cycle I may just want to keep our finances separate as they have been up until now. I have noticed that around the base there are so many car dealers and pay day loan places that kind of prey on these guys....

3. Do you think I should just leave this up to him to fix? I mean, I find myself nagging as he has a tendency to let things linger. Of course that doesn't do any good. But the longer things linger, the longer we're reliant on just my credit. He has the capability to clear these things up and pay stuff off as keeps the majority of his base income.

Anyone with similar experiences please give me your input. This isn't necessarily just a military question, but I know other soldiers and spouses will kind of understand our circumstances a bit better than maybe a civilian would.




#2 ToddP

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Posted 29 December 2011 - 12:37 PM

Just "paying" old debts will not "fix" his credit. He would still have the negative trade lines on his report. If the debts are extremely old, it'll probably be better to just let sleeping dogs sleep. Paying or settling old debts may even make his FICO score drop, so be careful with just paying old debts.

Its best to find inaccuracy with his credit report. You'll be surprised at how many CRs have wrong information. Once you find errors, then dispute it. But make sure the debt is past the SOL (Statute of Limitation). That means once the SOL has expired he can't be sued in court for the debt. SOL changes from State to State. However, I'm currently trying to get some information cleared up with SOL and how it applies to Military Active Duty.

#3 rizzo756

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Posted 29 December 2011 - 10:41 PM

Just "paying" old debts will not "fix" his credit. He would still have the negative trade lines on his report. If the debts are extremely old, it'll probably be better to just let sleeping dogs sleep. Paying or settling old debts may even make his FICO score drop, so be careful with just paying old debts.

Its best to find inaccuracy with his credit report. You'll be surprised at how many CRs have wrong information. Once you find errors, then dispute it. But make sure the debt is past the SOL (Statute of Limitation). That means once the SOL has expired he can't be sued in court for the debt. SOL changes from State to State. However, I'm currently trying to get some information cleared up with SOL and how it applies to Military Active Duty.



I realize that paying his debts won't fix his credit. I guess I am kind of a firm believer in paying what you owe although I know it can cause more harm than good sometimes. I have had my own past credit troubles and struggled for a bit to get everything cleaned up. None of his debts are past the SOL for his state (PA) yet but they soon will be. Maybe we can just wait it out until they eventually drop off. I did read up here though that active duty military personnel have some different rules when it comes to debt collection. I am trying to look into that as well. It has taken about 3 years but he is now beginning to receive collection letters from some of the companies.

Everything on his report is about 90% accurate. I have taken the steps to verify that with him. He has 5 collection debts related to utilities and one with a car loan then two current accounts in good standing. The extent of his report is 8 items. The only thing inaccurate about the car loan is that it was supposed to be rolled into his foreclosure settlement and shouldn't be on his report. That was completely whiped out with a short sale. We actually have the car in our yard and it has never been repo'ed (and it wasn't hidden but sat right beside his old address for about 3 years until his sister who was his neighbor made him move it from her yard). We had to get it shipped down here. We can't register it because we don't have the title. However, we do have paperwork from the PA court that says that the debt was settled. It has been passed along to a collection agency that claims they want to settle but can't promise the title in exchange for settlement.

I just want to do something to begin getting things better for him although I realize there is no quick fix....

#4 ToddP

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Posted 30 December 2011 - 02:07 AM

With the lower debts, especially the utilities, you can ask for a pay for delete. That is when you get the creditor to agree to delete the trade line in exchange for you paying the remaining balance. Some creditors will do this, some will not. Its not against the law. The states that any information the creditor reports must be accurate, it doesn't state that the creditor MUST report.

The big creditors/banks most of the time will not do this as they feel it is not reporting the "truth". Just be ready to pay the balance when asking for a PDF. I was successful at getting a Power Company to delete from my CRs in exchange for paying the remaining balance of $67. It was off my EQ report within 12 hours.

But keep in mind, with him getting a trade line removed, he will lose age on his report. PFDs are good to get your report "clean" fast if you have the cash, but they will not help your score over night. However, they will help your score a few months down the road. It won't take long for the FICO score to bounce back.

You might want to post your questions/etc in the main Credit Forum as they would get a lot more exposure over there. The Military Forum is not viewed by as many members.

#5 rizzo756

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Posted 30 December 2011 - 09:20 AM

With the lower debts, especially the utilities, you can ask for a pay for delete. That is when you get the creditor to agree to delete the trade line in exchange for you paying the remaining balance. Some creditors will do this, some will not. Its not against the law. The states that any information the creditor reports must be accurate, it doesn't state that the creditor MUST report.

The big creditors/banks most of the time will not do this as they feel it is not reporting the "truth". Just be ready to pay the balance when asking for a PDF. I was successful at getting a Power Company to delete from my CRs in exchange for paying the remaining balance of $67. It was off my EQ report within 12 hours.

But keep in mind, with him getting a trade line removed, he will lose age on his report. PFDs are good to get your report "clean" fast if you have the cash, but they will not help your score over night. However, they will help your score a few months down the road. It won't take long for the FICO score to bounce back.

You might want to post your questions/etc in the main Credit Forum as they would get a lot more exposure over there. The Military Forum is not viewed by as many members.


Thanks Todd. I am looking into the pay for delete options on the utility accounts. I think cleaning the report up would be the first step and maybe we can get some luck from utility places....we shall see. I appreciate your responses.




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