Looks like I’m not the only one with this kind of problem.
I could use some advise regarding old medical debt. I was hospitalized for two days in December 2002. It was an emergency situation. I was employed but had no medical insurance. I went to the General Hospital, but as I was not indigent I did not qualify for assistance. I ended up owing thousands of dollars to the hospital and doctors and miscellaneous medical people. I made payments, small, but faithfully and eventually got the doctors and pathologists and labs and everyone paid off but the hospital. It wasn’t easy, as I still had health problems and was physically weak for a long time afterward. Then the county run hospital was shut down and they sent everybody’s bills to collection.
So a local collection agency contacted me by mail and I sent them a letter saying it was pointless for me to pay, since what I could afford to send them would not even cover their interest. The hospital had not charged interest at all. I did send the collection agency payments though, which covered a little bit more than the interest. I did this so my credit would not be ruined. I had been paying them for quite a few months and then one month I had more health problems and frankly was too sick to think about paying the bills or talking to anybody. I was weak. The very next month they sold my account to another collection agency out of town. I was upset because, first, it wasn’t my fault I was sick, had no insurance from my employer and was not paid enough to buy it on my own, or that the hospital sent it to collection in the first place. I was upset that they didn’t contact me before switching agencies. I knew this meant that they’d already hurt my credit. I did not pay the second collection agency. I did not communicate with them at all. They sent my account back to the original collection agency which continues to send me bills. I haven’t made a payment to them nor communicated with them since.
It’s funny, the hospital did not sell them all of my debt and I can’t even reach the accounting office of the old hospital anymore to find
out what remains. My current debt with the collection agency as they state it is a pricinple amount of $1265.50, $547.82 in interest and a
total due of $1813.32.
How do I go about settling with a collection agency? I would like to settle for the principle when I am able to. I still don’t want to pay
their **** interest. I live in California. How much time do you think I have until they would possibly try to take me to court over
this, if at all? Does anybody have any knowledge about this kind of situation?
Does anyone have any information on Financial “Coaches”? Looking for one in the Atlanta Area. I saw a show where a “coach” assessed a person’s spending habits and helped out with budgeting. All I have been able to run across are financial planners whose services are more geared toward investing, and less toward budgeting. Any leads would be greatly appreciated.
Bankruptcy is viewed as the absolute worse thing on the credit rating.
Medical bills, even delinquent ones, are not looked at as harshly as an unpaid mortgage, credit card, auto loans, etc. I don’t know why, but they are not. Maybe someone can offer some insight into that one.
It is best to make a settlement offer and get it in writing BEFORE you pay a cent on the debts. You need documentation. After you pay (get a cashier’s check from your bank – easy for the bank to trace for you), make a copy of the cashier’s check, the letter from the creditor stating the amount and then send one copy of both of these to each of the three credit reporting agencies. Send them priority mail with a delivery confirmation.
You need to notify the credit reporting agencies because the companies will take their time. You need to supply copies so they know that you were only asked to pay $ xxx.xx amount and not the full balance reported, also that you paid what was requested in writing.
Document, document, copy, copy, copy. Get signatures. The priority mail is required to get delivery confirmation. Time is important. Esp. if you are doing this to get a mortgage, car loans, etc. and need to document that the situation was taken care of in a timely matter. You can prove that you paid the exact amount that was asked of you in a timely manner.
Every bit of the credit will stay on your credit report for at least 7 years, good or bad. It’s the law.
It shows your history. When you “settle”, your credit report reflects that. It is better than a charge off, which means you did not pay. Settling means that you paid for less than the full balance. Not the best, but better than not paying.
You will most likely be able to get a new cell phone contract, if you want, but they will require a deposit (a couple hundred dollars most likely). Or you can go with the pay as you go type of cell phone.
The only thing that truly helps your credit is to (1) pay on time and (2) wait it out. You need to repair the damage as much as possible, by paying what you owe.
Credit reports are not there for you. They are there for your potential creditors to look at your payment history and use of credit in the past (how did you do with other companies and their money) before they decide whether or not to take a chance on lending you money extending you credit), what interest rate to stick you with, the terms, the down payments (deposits) required, etc. The whole thing is there for them, not for you.
That said, you must make the record as accurate as possible. Get anything negative removed 7 years after the last activity. Put it in writing, send it registered mail to each of the three major credit bureaus (they all have separate info and scores, depending on how the companies do their reporting) and keep copies of everything. Bankruptcy is allowed to stay for up to 10 years on your record before it will be removed.
The 7 years is from the last activity, not when the account was opened.
I have a lot of credit card debt, owe for a cell phone that is now shut off, and a dept store card.
I’m paying off the dept store card this month. My understanding is they will reinstate it. I want that just so I have some sort of credit to use around holidays. But I won’t get into debt with it.
I want to pay off the cell phone because I need a cell phone. But I’m not sure if they’ll give me another contract. Will they?
The credit cards are a lot –about $28,000. One of them will settle–I only have to pay 20% of the balance. Very good deal.
That would leave me with $24,000 of debt, and those cards are charged off.
My big questions:
1. can I save my dept store card and get a cell phone?
2. is it worth settling the one card? i’d still have a lot of debt and lousy credit.
I guess I want to know if my credit rating gets a little better each time I settle an account instead of paying tiny amounts over years. Or, do settled accounts look bad and stay on your credit report for years?
A friend advised that I file for bankruptcy because it’s a faster way to better credit. Is that true?
Because our credit is so maxed out now, we don’t qualify for any more credit accounts. We tried to get one, but were unable to. They said I can write to learn the “reason” they jacked up the rate, but I pulled the applicable credit report and there is nothing new on it. All payments are on time. Also our credit rating has been stable for 3 or 4 months, so it doesn’t make sense.
What I’m thinking is if I can find other money, like borrow from my 401k for a year, I could maybe pay 1/2 of the account down, which looks a lot better. Then, I can ask my hubby to call and request an interest rate reduction. I’d rather borrow my own money than keep paying these idiots. I’d need to work the 401k loan so that the payments would be similar to what they would be with the current payment on the card. I can probably do this later this summer when a previous 401k loan is paid off. Until then, I’ll just start paying everything I can on it.
Thanks for this reply. This is what I was leaning toward doing after having thought about it for the past 24 hours.
You’ll see that I responded to someone else on this that I might borrow from my 401k for a year at a very low interest rate that goes back into my 401k account anyway….to pay at least 1/2 of this so that it looks better credit wise. Once that is done, they might be open to granting an interest rate reduction. If not, I’ll just continue to pay it off and never use it again. And the better the credit rating gets, the better the chances of getting one of those 0% interest rate cards to clean up the rest of it.
I realize that if I close the account, it will make my debt to available credit ratio even worse, whereas if I keep it open and pay the higher interest for now, with every payment, our credit rating improves.It might not be worth the money I would save in interest in the long run.
These jerks screw you from every direction don’t they?
If you can pay off the account to get out of being screwed with this interest rate being jacked up, I would do it.
If you don’t have the money to pay it off, I would work hard at sending in extra money to the account as soon as possible, a little every payday if possible, and do not use the card anymore. Once paid in full, just leave it there.
I would suggest that you just stop using it, but do not close it. If you have had it for awhile, it cuts off the “old age” status of your credit history. Meaning, if you have had it for 5 years or more, when you close it, your next newest account may be only 2 years old. Not good. Also, the amount of the credit limit shows that you have had it increased to $_______ amount by now, even though you have just about maxed it, as you stated. If you close it, the “available” credit that you have gets dinged, showing you as less “trustworthy”. Creditors will not see that you have been trusted with $15,000 worth of credit when this account is closed, and if your next highest limit is just $5,000 they will adjust their offers accordingly.
I hate that the companies are jacking up your interest rates this way! I had one company that tweaked our limit because they did a “review” of our credit report and changed it. We paid off the account, but we have not used it anymore. It is still open, but we will just leave it there unused. Not worth it.
What is the best way to negotiate with credit card companies? Does anyone know how they deal with different situations? If I can’t pay is
it better to wait and be 90 days late before I start trying to talk down the debt? Will they really cut your debt if you work out a payment
plan? Any info is appreciated. Thanks
I handle all our finances, including credit card payments each month, and yesterday, we got a notice on a joint credit card that
the interest will be going from 22.9% to 32.9% in April.
They gave us the option of closing the account to keep the current terms. We are close to maxed out on the account. This extra interest
will amount to $610 a year, or about $50 more per month. We are overextended on our credit cards and other credit, but we have no adverse accounts on the credit report, all accounts are paid properly.
The credit rating is not the best, but it is currently 630.
1. Is it better to close the account and keep the current terms, or keep it open and pay more, but focus on paying extra to get the balance down faster?
2. What would it do to our credit rating to close the account?
3. Will the minimum payment go up when the interest rate goes up?
I need some advise quick before I broach this with my husband.