At least it was educational

Recently I got back into playing with debt and credit and all of the fun little things you get to do applying for a loan.  The nice thing about cash is you always know if you qualify to make a purchase simply by counting and you always get the best interest rate of 0%.  I know the Credit Union will make some money on this loan but the loan officer has been great working with me to try and clear off a outlier that is only on the Equifax report.

While this loan has been a little frustrating I did learn quite a few things about credit reporting and the Idaho State law in regards to a debt and collections.  I’m a firm believer that you should pay your all your debts and not try and game the system to avoid doing the right thing. I also believe that companies should not try and game the system to collect money that is not owed because someone applies for credit. Equifax is the only Credit agency that did not give me a free report online thought I could get a free report via snail mail while they took 30-45 days to look at the disputed charge. Otherwise I would have to pay Equifax for an online report. The phone contact tree is a joke and still requires I pay or go through snail mail for any dispute if I don’t pay the fee of $7.95 via credit card of course.

I did an Internet search on how to “dispute” something wrong on my credit report I found a site that covered Idaho State Law in regards to collections of debt. It seems that  debt collectors have either a four or five year statute of limitations on the original debt and must gain either a verbal or written statement from the “collectee” that acknowledges the legitimacy of the debt and can not arbitrarily force the collection after that time has passed without that acknowledgement. The law says nothing about the “debt” being reported to credit agencies but after reading what is needed to successfully dispute an error on your credit report.  I think a statement that the original debt has passed the Statute of Limitations and there is no creditor with a verbal or signed contract would be reason to have the error removed.  This may take some time to get my “dispute” done via snail mail but I will update as I get this debt off my credit report.

My Credit Union said this was a very strange entry and only on the Equifax report so they consider the debt entry  under “Dispute” and are going to write the loan and I will sign it tomorrow. For several years I haven’t given much thought to my credit score or credit report because I have worked hard to pay cash as much as possible. But in America today almost everyone will pull your credit report from employers, to phone, cable, sat. providers, insurance companies along with banks even if all you want to do is just open a basic savings/checking account.  So even if you are going cash and staying away from debt go ahead and get that free credit report once a year. Make sure you know the basic laws of your state covering debt and debt collections.

If you are paying off debts I would recommend you always get a letter that states that you have paid the debt off in full and keep it for 10 years which is the length of time most debts may be reported on your credit report!


6 Responses to At least it was educational

  1. You can get all three of the major credit reporting agencies files on you for free once a year. I forget the web page, but I have it somewhere because I always pull mine. If you would like to have it let me know and I’ll email you the link.

    • Jamie says:

      Harry, Thanks I got that from the credit union but Equifax is being all poopy about it. If I was a cynic I might think they are looking for a way to get a fee because I would avoid waiting to process the loan. The loan is more about getting the work done a bit early when my contractor has an open time frame rather than the money.
      No worries I sign the paperwork on the loan on the 14th and use snail mail with equifax to clear up that negative issue and I’m good to go.
      I don’t think I owe this debt and I have a feeling that someone is hoping for a bit of money by screwing with my credit report since I got my home refinanced at a lower rate. I’ve lived at the same address for over 10 years and I’m not exactly a hard to find desperado.

  2. riverrider says:

    j, wait until december to contest it. they have to get written confirmation from the creditor and during december they don’t have resources to meet the federal deadline of 30 days. it must be removed and cannot be put back on by federal law.

    • Jamie says:

      river, I’m not terribly concerned as the entry is so odd I don’t think I will have much problem getting it off the report. It just a pain in the butt to have to jump through hoops to get a small loan.
      I signed the loan paper work today and the loan officer said after that entry is removed and I pay off this loan I’ll probably be moved up into the A+ range as far as credit score. Nice to know but I will be doing my darndest to go all cash in the future.

  3. Roger says:

    Working with Equifax can be aggravating enough to make the pope cuss. The just lost a big case in CA, million dollar plus judgment. Here in our area, they are being sued for not fixing erroneous information fast enough.

    I am working with a client who has Equifax issues and we are going on 2+months of fixing their errors. In the meantime, home prices keep going up as well as interest rates. They would have justification to sue as well by the time this is all done.

    • Jamie says:

      Roger I can’t say I’m surprised. I feel for your clients, I had a great local credit union I could work with for my wood stove loan so I still got a good rate. My refi didn’t even have the the Equifax entry when I locked in so I got a great intrest rate before it started going up.

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