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So, first of all, hello! I've been reading up on things here for a while now and just recently decided to join and start posting. You seem like a great bunch and I am excited to get started with using all the knowledge everyone here has provided. My name is Amanda, I am 28 years old and live in New Hampshire. I have been married for 6 years to my husband Jason. Due to being young and niave and overly trusting of my ex my credit was trashed. Prior to meeting me, my husband didn't have any credit. The only thing on his report was an old Cap One card that his mother put him as an Authorized User on. It was stolen shortly after opening. Over the years there have been medical bills that wound up in collections, and aparently an electric bill (though I thought we had it payed off before we moved). Last September I signed us up on Credit Karma and decied to work on improving and building credit. I decided that it would be much easier to focus on his and that is what I have been doing. Until now I have only focused on opening accounts and establishing some good history. This has worked rather well and brought his score up over 100 points on its own. He is now sitting at 624. Now that we have decided we want to go for a USDA loan, I need to deal with the collection accounts. USDA requires that all collection accounts have payment plans set up. Unfortunatly, we are already near the limit for our DTI ratios so I need to get at least some of them removed entirely before proceeding. So, after doing my research here, I have come up with, and tweaked a million times over, a plan of attack. I wanted to create a thread to log my progress, and also to get feedback and answers to a few questions. So here goes. Below I will list the current status of the credit reports, followed by my plan of attack, and lastly my questions and concerns. Current Credit Status Score: 624 Open Accounts: (I am already aware now that I didn't make the best decisions in opening all of these, so please do not lecture) Account: Capital One Platinum Secured (Partially Secured) Limit: $200 Opened: June 2013 Interest Rate: 22.9% Annual Fee: $29 Rewards: None Lates: None Notes: -------- Account: Fingerhut Limit: $500 Opened: Oct 2013 Interest Rate: 24.9% Annual Fee: $0 Rewards: None Lates: N/A Notes: NEVER USED. Every time I look at things I decide the financing charges and outrageous shipping make it not worth it. -------- Account: Capital One Quicksilver One Limit: $500. (Opened at $300, then giving a $200 CLI with the Credit Steps program) Opened: June 2014 Interest Rate: 0% Introductory rate. 12 months I believe, then probably 22.9% Annual Fee: $39 Rewards: 1.5% Cash Back on everything. Lates: None Notes: -------- Account: Credit One Limit: $500 Opened: Sept 2014 Interest Rate: 19.9% Annual Fee: $45 Rewards: 1% on Gas Lates: None Notes: I will probably call a month before the aniversary and ask to waive the annual fee, increase limit to $1000, or lower interest rate, and if none can be done will close the account. -------- Account: Walmart Credit Card Limit: $400 Opened: Dec 2014 Interest Rate: 22.9% Annual Fee: $0 Rewards: Special Financing Available, 5¢ off of their gas pumps (but we dont have any here) Lates: N/A Notes: Closed Accounts: Account: Capital One Limit: $1000 Opened: Feb 2005 Closed: Mar 2005 Lates: None Notes: Listed as Authorized User. Card Stolen. Collections: CA: Marcam Associates OC: Med1 Spear Memorial Hospital Balance: $919 Opened: July 2013 Closed: ---- Last Reported: Sep 2013 Remarks: Placed for Collection Notes: Unknown ER visit. Showing on: Trans Union only ---------- CA: Marcam Associates OC: Med1 Spear Medical Associates Balance: $252 Opened: April 2013 Closed: --- Last Reported: July 2013 Remarks: Placed for collection Notes: probably a lab fee. Showing on: Trans Union only ---------- CA: Marcam Associates OC: Med1 Spear Medical Associates Balance: $125 Opened: Oct 2012 Closed: --- Last Reported: Jan 2013 Remarks: Placed for collection Notes: He is pretty sure this was for the PT consult when he broke his hand. It was supposed to go to insurance but turns out employer lied about when insurance became active and it was not covered. Showing on: Trans Union only ---------- CA: Marcam Associates OC: Med1 Spear Memorial Hospital Balance: $175 Opened: Jan 2011 Closed: --- Last Reported: April 2011 Remarks: Placed for collection Notes: Unknown ER visit. Showing on: Trans Union only ---------- CA: Marcam Associates OC: Med1 Spear Memorial Hospital Balance: $1,311 Opened: Dec 2010 Closed: --- Last Reported: Feb 2011 Remarks: Placed for collection Notes: Unknown ER visit. Showing on: Trans Union only ---------- CA: Marcam Associates OC: Med1 Spear Memorial Hospital Balance: $175 Opened: Dec 2010 Closed: --- Last Reported: Feb 2011 Remarks: Placed for collection Notes: Unknown ER visit. Possible duplicate of other $175 from same CA and OC? Showing on: Trans Union only ---------- CA: NH/NE Credit OC: New Hampshire Electric Coop Balance: $232 Opened: Mar 2013 Closed: --- Last Reported: April 2013 Remarks: Placed for collection Notes: Electric bill from previous residence. I thought it had been payed off before we moved, but I guess not. Showing on: Trans Union, Equifax, and Experian Plan of Attack (possible changes pending answers to questions and suggestions) Opt-Out Get Credit Reports Remove Old Addresses from Credit Reports. (Waiting on SS card. Somehow he managed 29 years without one. Claimed it was never given to him, but his mom said she doesn't know where it is.) Verify the Medical Debts with Trans Union If VerifiedRequest Validation of Spear Memorial Debt from CA.If it IS VALIDATED:Ask OC if they will take back debt in exchange for Payment Plan. (unless the HIPPA program would work here too as we cannot afford to pay in full)If they ACCEPT:Make sure Marcam Associates collections accounts are removed. If they DO NOT ACCEPT:Ask Marcam Associates to consolidate Spear Memorial debts and set up payment plan. If they do, ensure that the consolidated account is not a "NEW" Collections. (This would ruin our chances of the USDA loan. No new in past 12 months) If it IS NOT VALIDATED:Demand the collections be removed from your credit report. If they are not removed, contact the credit reporting agencies for removal. If NOT verified, accounts should be removed and no further action is needed. Verify the NHEC Debt with Trans Union, Experian, and Equifax. If VerifiedRequest Validation of NHEC Collection from CA. If Validated, pay for Delete. If Not Validated, demand removal. If NOT verified, accounts should be removed and no further action is needed. Questions and Concerns Do I have to remove ALL old addresses and only keep my current address or can I leave one of the old ones that has a positive TL attached? Why exactly do I need to deal with the medical collections first? My initial plan was so get rid of the electric first and then tackle the medical bills, but after reading here everything says medical stuff first. Why validate with the CRA first? Do I do all at once or one at a time? Wouldn't it look suspicious if I disputed every collection on the report? When dealing with the CRA, why do we not want delivery confirmation? What benefit is it to be certified without the confirmation? So, that is what I have so far. Thanks again for all the information provided on this website thus far and thank you in advance for any personal advice you provide regarding my case. ~Amanda