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Rehabilitating credit scores after a couple of small bills were sent to collection in 2012?

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BACKGROUND. I assume I have had good credit over the years because I didn’t have trouble getting financing for mortgage, credit cards, etc. in my home country (Quebec/Canada) where I have a credit record stretching back over 20 years. I’m a Canadian but now live in Asia. I own an investment property in Canada and would like buy some more, which will require mortgage financing. I've also posted this in the Canadian board, but there isn't too much partisipation there so I thought I'd add it in the general board as well.

 

SCORES. I had two small ($400) bills I didn’t pay before leaving Canada that have since been sent to collection. I was nervous about the impact of this on my ability to get financing so I signed up for both Equifax Complete Advantage Plan and TransUnion Credit Monitoring and got my reports and scores. I was shocked to find out my scores are very low (Equifax 624; TransUnion 598). I’m assuming this is because of the collection issue since all other accounts are up-to-date and 99% paid on time. Equifax lists 5 open accounts including my current mortgage, while TransUnion lists 13 open accounts, 9 closed accounts, and 4 derogatory accounts. For some reason TransUnion does not list my mortgage.

 

DETAILS. I owed VISA Desjardins $491 in 2012 which as passed to Echo Collection. The Equifax entry under VISA Desjardins this is described as “Written-off.” It is not listed as in Equifax under Collections. In TransUnion the comments are “[bad Debt Write Off]|[Amt In High Credit Column (Disp 122-130 of Trade Segment) Is Credit Limit]” and it appears again under Echo Collection. This account I basically forgot to pay and was not reminded because I was overseas and could not be reached.

 

I also owed Fido $386 since 2012 which is listed in Equifax as “Acct assigned to third party for collection. Closed by credit grantor” and again Collection Account with CollectCents. Same basic story for TransUnion. I had a disagreement about this account with Fido. They wanted me to pay out the contract, even though I wasn’t around to use the service. They won’t budge on this at all so I said fine, I just won’t pay. That was probably a mistake.

Plus for some reason my recent mortgage only appears in Equifax, not in TransUnion.

 

QUESTIONS.

  1. What’s the best way to improve my credit score quickly? I want to apply for financing in the next month. I don’t mind paying these amounts. Although paying less that the full amounts would be great, my priority is getting my credit worthiness up fast. If I have to pay in full, so be it. But of course I don’t want to pay in full if it makes no difference. Should I try a Pay for Delete letter? If so, do I approach the original biller or the collection agency? In some cases, both have entries in my record.
  2. I get this on some of my credit cards: “[Amt In High Credit Column (Disp 122-130 of Trade Segment) Is Credit Limit].” Is this a bad thing?
  3. Why is my mortgage appearing in Equifax and not TransUnion? Does it matter? If it does, how do I get it listed in TransUnion?

Thanks in advance for your help!

 

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I don't have particular advice for you, but there any many other members who have more experience than me. And once they are around, you'll get some advice.

 

It is recommended to have Paper Copies of all three credit reports. Monitoring services are good for monitoring, but for any disputing or accurate account information, they are worthless.

 

Welcome to the board.

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<<If you're quibbling about <$500 collections, you aren't ready to be a real estate investor.>>

 

I'm ready and able to pay those amounts back. The issue is how to improve my credit score, which according to what I've read may not happen just by paying back delinquent amounts. So I'm looking for some strategic advice. Pay to Remove, whatever might work. And for the record I already am a real estate investor.

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Anyone have any ideas? The main issue is that I have two debts that appear first with the vendor (Visa or mobile phone company) then with collection agency. Who should I approach for a pay to delete? If I do so with the credit agency, the original vendor will still have it marked as sent for collection. What are my options?

 

I could really use some guidance on this and am grateful for any input.

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