This is a complicated story with a few parts, so I'll try to be as complete as possible.
I'm a college senior currently trying to clean up the mistakes I made over my very short credit history thus far. I currently have 1 medical collection at $1500, 1 tuition collection at $4700, and have painstakingly carved my CCU from 90% to 50% (and going down every month). I also have plenty of federal student loans that are deferred until 2023, and have never missed a payment on accounts in good standing. TransUnion and Equifax hover around 660 these days, with FICO 8 and Experian closer to the 630s.
Regarding the medical collection: The bill was initially for a college physical and routine vaccinations back in summer 2019, and was supposed to be paid for by insurance. I had just turned 18 at the time, so I was oblivious to the way it worked, but my parents told me the clinic screwed the billing up and our insurance denied it. I didn't think I had to care since they told me they would take care of it, but they didn't. About a year ago, I ended up with a collection which I attempted to dispute it electronically (didn't know what I was doing), but it was validated. Roughly a month ago, it suddenly dropped off of my report, but today I got a voicemail from a new CA, so it's likely coming back within the next few months.
Regarding the tuition collection: For my first two years of college, I attended a tiny regional private school that charged way too much for tuition, but my parents insisted that between the veterans' dependents' benefits, federal loans, and scholarships, I would be able to attend without any out of pocket cost. Like before, they let me down and it ended up costing far more than they told me. I was a stupid college kid who just got his taste of living away from home, and my spending and priorities were insanely out of whack, so my account balance kept climbing. At the end of sophomore year, I transferred to a more respected school with more financial aid, but I still had the balance on my old account with no way to pay it. Around July 2021, it was passed on to collections with the remark "affected by natural disaster" (referring to COVID).
After a reality check of sorts, I've been religiously budgeting, paying off my CCs, and exploring every clever credit building account under the sun. I haven't sunken completely yet, but I'm very fearful that 2 collections at age 20 is a recipe for disaster. I'm looking for the best way to handle these derogatory accounts, and don’t know what my options are.
I feel tremendously ashamed of the position I'm in, as I come from a family that's terrible at managing money, and because I'm 6 months away from graduating with a degree in finance. Somehow I ended up going down the road that I knew I should always avoid. I'm very anxious about my future and where to go from here, and I just need to know how to get out.
I'm in bit of an issue where a medical bill was fully paid, but the account is in collections. In an imperfect sequence of events, the insurance company briefly withdrew a previous payment and re-payed the provider. Meanwhile, the provider sent me the bill, went bankrupt and they are not reachable. Looks like they sold the debt to the CA and CA wants the money that was fully paid. I have the Explanation of Benefits and proof of the original payment.
Feb 2019 to April 2019 - Service Provided by an in-network medical service provider for my child
May 2019 - Co-pay fully paid. Insurance fully paid. Account settled.
Sep 2020 - Insurance withdrew the payment (mistake). Provider sends me the bill for around $1,200. I disputed it.
Feb 2021 - Provider sends the account to the collection agency $1,200. CA sends me the letter.
Mar 2021 - Provider closes the door. Unable to reach the provider.
Apr 2021 - I sent the DV letter (after 30 days - on 39th day as I was traveling), used WhyChat DV letter. I got a vague response that I owe the money.
Apr 2021 - Insurance re-payed the provider in full. They sent me the Explanation of Benefits which shows the account is fully settled.
Apr 2021 - Certified mail to the provider returns back (with HIPAA language), as the provider closes the door. Phone calls or emails not returned.
Sep 2021 - CA keeps sending emails. Contacted the Insurance company. The Insurance company contacted the CA by phone and told them the account was settled. CA informs the insurance agent that it will contact the service provider and sort it out.
Sep 2021 - CA reports to CRA. Credit scores drop.
Sep 2021 - Online dispute raised with CRA with full proof of payment. However, all disputes closed that the debt is valid.
Oct 2021 - CA sends me the letter I still owe $1,200 + interest.
I have the payment proof (insurance payment + co-pay that was paid in 2019). Can I please get your advise? Would this constitute as an insurance fraud? Should I send the proof of payment to the CA? Thank you so much. Appreciate it.
I sent out a validation letter to a medical collection on the 1st. today the 17th i got an alert that a new account was added. The account was never removed to my knowledge but it is the same Collection but now the balance says zero. Why would they do this? I haven't received any response from them. Should I wait the 30 days to see if they remove, or move forward with another letter? Thanks for any response
I have searched this board to identify a singular thread that nails down the personal experience of members who follow the AZERO but ONE credit card utilization balance strategy Unfortunately, I have not found any expansive explanation behind who came up with this strategy, how to best implement it, and its success rate among credit card holders.
To my understanding, the gist of the AZERO but ONE strategy is to zero out the balance on all credit cards in one's profile, but carry a balance on one. I do hope I have this right, because I am trying to take put it into practice (along with great payment history and credit limits) to reach the 800+ club.
What I am not sure about are the following:
Does the balance of the one card have a carry a statement balance (will incur an interest for non-zero APR card)? Does the balance of the one card have to carry a current card balance (money spent to-date) at the end of the closing date? Does the balance of the one card have to be < 30 %?
I utilize the spreadsheet from the following site to play around with the card balances - Card Utilization Calculator. Ideally, I like to keep my card utilization between 7%-10% max. However, when I average out all my cards in the calculator, the total utilization rate naturally comes to less than %1. At that point, I am not sure if having < 1% is considered to be so negligible to the Fico scoring system that it makes it appear that I really don't utilize my cards at all.
As an experiment, I plan on carrying a 30% current balance on one of my cards for one billing cycle, out of 7 cards, which will bring my total utilization ratio to about 7%.
That said, does anyone have any experience or insight to this approach they are willing to share?
I've got Citi AA Miles card from 2019 still with same credit limit I opened with. Denied again for CLI, reason given was:
However, I wonder if that is the full story since they have BK loss with me that is off my credit reports now? Are they obligated to cite that in their reasons if part of their decision making process?
My inquiries on Equifax they referred to:
Feb 17, 2021 PENTAGON FCU (Denied CLI, max exposure) Feb 17, 2021 DIGITAL FEDERAL CREDIT UN (Denied card) Dec 29, 2020 CORELOGIC CREDCO CORELOGIC for BACHOMELOANSECOMMDMA (Mortgage approved) Apr 20, 2020 CREDCO/QUICKEN CREDCO/QUICKEN for QUICKEN LOANS INC Mar 07, 2020 PENTAGON FCU (Approved CLI) Mar 07, 2020 DIGITAL FEDERAL CREDIT UN (Denied card) Feb 24, 2020 CITIBANK NA CITIBANK NA (Prior Citi CLI that was denied)
Experian FICO: 827 (From Wells Fargo Bank)
TransUnion FICO: 824 (From Barclays Bank)
Equifax FICO: 770 (From DCU older version of score)