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Original Creditor and Collection Agency on Credit Report

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It’s discouraging enough when you can’t pay a debt and you know that it’s going to damage your credit score for years to come. But what about when a single debt multiplies, turning into two, three or even more negative items on your credit reports? A discouraging situation can turn downright miserable.

Find out why there may be an original creditor and collection agency on your credit report and if there’s anything you can do about these situations.

Can a Collection Agency Report an Old Debt as New?

Unfortunately, a collection agency can often report old debt as new. “I see these double jeopardy tradelines all the time,” says Michael Bovee, founder of the Consumer Recovery Network. He goes on to explain how it works.

Let’s say you fall behind on an account and your creditor charges off your account. Your credit report will now list a charge off, which is very negative for your credit score. Then, the creditor will sell the debt to a collection agency, which also reports the debt as a collection account.

          〉Read more: What Does Charged Off as Bad Debt Mean?
          〉Read more: How to Remove Collection Account from Your Credit Reports

Now, you have two negative accounts. Both the original creditor and collection agency will be listed on your credit reports. That’s strike number two against you. It’s frustrating, but it’s not illegal. Here’s the one bright spot, though: if the original creditor sold the debt to a collection agency, then according to fair credit reporting practices, it should not continue to report a balance owed. “That’s double the damage and is not permitted,” says Bovee. There will be a history of that balance, but not an active balance owed.

How Long Can Multiple Accounts Impact Your Credit?

The original creditor can’t continue to report a balance due if it has sold the account to a collections agency. However, it can report a charge off, which remains on your credit report for seven years, even if you pay off the debt—with the original creditor or via a collections agency.

But the debt may continue to impact your credit for longer than those seven years because the collections company can also place an item on your credit report. Depending on how the account is handled, whether it’s within the statute of limitations and whether you attempt to negotiate or pay the debt, the item can appear on your credit report for as long as around seven-and-a-half years from the last payment activity.

How Often Do Collection Agencies Report to Credit Bureaus?

Collections agencies can report to all three of the credit bureaus almost as soon as they purchase the debt. They can then report monthly on the status of the debt for seven years and 180 days from the date they took the account.

          〉Learn more: Collections Crash Course

Actions to Take When Accounts Show Up Multiple Times on Your Credit Report

Luckily, you’re not left without options if you find yourself in this double jeopardy debt situation. First, consider ordering your credit reports so you understand the situation and what information is showing up there. You can request your credit score for free annually from each of the credit bureaus. You can also check it regularly with Credit.com’s free Credit Report Card. Then, you can make an informed decision about next steps, which might include one of the options below.

Sign Up Now: Free Credit Report Card

Pay Off the Debt

If you know that the debt is valid, you may be able to negotiate a settlement payment with the original creditor. If they have already written off the debt, they may accept a lower total payment. This is especially true if fees and interest have inflated what you originally owed.

If you satisfy the original debt, you can request that the collection agency stop contacting you. You may also be able to request that the collection agency item be removed from your credit report, although the charge off will remain. Collection agencies often buy debt for less than the original owed, so you may be able to negotiate a lower payment with a collection agency if necessary.

Dispute Inaccurate Items

If you can prove that the reporting isn’t in line with the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, the collections agency may remove it. However, it can be difficult to get a collector to back down, and you may want to bring in assistance such as an attorney who works with credit repair.

Here are some actions you can take to address and dispute duplicate items on your credit report.

1. Require Validation of the Debts

Under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, debt collectors must send you a written notice of the debt within five days of initial contact with you. After that, you have thirty days to request verification of the debt. If you request verification of the debt, the collection agency should provide enough information to establish that the debt is legitimate and accurate.

Send validation letters via certified mail or other confirmation delivery method to each of your debt collectors. Ask them to identify the original creditor, current owner of the account, current balance and date of last payment.

2. Dispute Collection Accounts That Don’t Appear Accurate

Send dispute letters, again by delivery confirmation, to any of the debt collectors who have responded with information that doesn’t appear accurate or is unfamiliar. Your letter does not have to be fancy or detailed, but it must state that you dispute the debt.

          〉Take Action: How to Dispute Credit Report Errors

This dispute then requires the debt collector to list the account as disputed on the credit report. This notation reduces the harmful effect of the trade-line on your credit score. If the debt collector fails to mark the account as disputed, you have a cause of action under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.

3. Get Help with Credit Repair

Once you determine that something isn’t quite right on your report, consider getting professional assistance in disputing issues and repairing your credit. A professional credit repair agency like Lexington Law can help you negotiate errors and fix your credit whether you’re dealing with inaccurate data or illegal or unfair reporting practices.

How to Deal with Double Jeopardy Tradelines

If an original creditor and collection agency appear on your credit report, don’t fret. You still have options. Request validation of the debt, work with a credit repair company if necessary to remove inaccurate items, and pay off the debt as quickly as possible to avoid incurring more debt.

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Credit Repair Companies

The 21 Year-Old Looking To Help 1,000 Families Raise Their Credit in 2021

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Vernell Watts is a credit repair expert, author, founder of Fortune800 – a credit repair company that has already helped hundreds to fix their credit score and develop healthy credit habits. His career started at a well-known credit repair company. Realizing that their techniques weren’t the best, he took time to study and build his own company. Currently, through his business, videos and his new book “The Credit Reset,” he is looking to help 1,000 families to permanently repair their credit in 2021.

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Vernell Watt is well ahead of his years. At the young age of 18, he started working for a nationwide credit repair company. He was a natural. Landing hundreds of clients and building good relationships, he earned good money and lived a comfortable life. “I was making amazing money and was able to buy myself a new car. I loved it.” some may have been content with their success, but Vernell began to dig deeper. He heard from his clients that they were not happy with the results of the service. Less than one percent of the clients he signed to the service saw any improvements in their credit score. “I couldn’t believe it. I knew I had to do something.” And he did. He left his job and began to study. After some time of studying, he realized that this company and many others were not offering the best solutions to their customers’ needs – he found his new niche. Build a credit repair company that actually helped it’s customers improve their credit score.

At 19 years old, Vernell launched Fortune800, a new kind of credit repair company. Designed to actually produce results, Watts saw huge success very quickly. Within four months, he had scaled his business to 6 figures and achieved a 55% success rate in improving his customers score. One of his reasons for his success is his blended method. Based on his studies of credit and credit companies, he developed his “blended technique,” a technique that simultaneously helps remove negative credit history while building positive credit accounts. This method allows his customers to see long lasting results. “One thing that I think is important is focusing on building credit, not offering a quick fix.” The second reason for Watts’ success is his knowledge. He has realized that knowledge, not age or experience is the key to mastering credit. Whether a client purchases his repair service or one of his books, Watts looks to help them understand the way credit works and how to understand it.

Also Read | Kanpur Road Accident: Prime Minister Narendra Modi Expresses Condolences, Announces Rs 2 Lakh Ex-gratia for Families of Deceased

His new book The Credit Reset is the perfect resource for anyone looking to fix and build their credit. Whether you are looking to build credit, buy a home, or prepare for a large purchase, this book gives you everything you need to get results in repairing your credit. He presents very detailed information in a very simple, easy-to-read 100 page blueprint. When asked what his motivation was to help others, he responded, “Your credit can be your largest asset or your largest liability. I want to help people make it an asset.”

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Do credit repair services work?

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You probably already know about the importance of having a good credit score. It can increase your chances of getting approved for credit products and help you secure lower interest rates. If your current credit score is less than stellar, you’ve perhaps considered using a so-called credit repair company. But do credit repair services really work and are they worth it? We take a look.  

What is a credit repair company?

Simply put, it’s a company that offers to improve your credit score in exchange for a fee.

A quick online research reveals a large number of these companies. Some also advertise their services in print media, as well as on TV and radio.

The way most credit repair companies claim to work is by helping you remove inaccurate or unverifiable information from your credit report.

They will start by requesting a copy of your credit report from each of the three major credit agencies (Experian, TransUnion and Equifax). After going through the report, they will devise a strategy for disputing any errors or inaccurate information in the data that may have a negative impact on your score.

Do credit repair services work?

There are currently no reliable statistics regarding the effectiveness of credit repair services. There is also insufficient data on the impact these services have on customers’ average credit scores.

That isn’t to say they don’t always work. If you can find a legitimate credit repair company that is able to identify errors, mistakes and unverifiable data on your report, they can help you get it removed. This could raise your score. Of course, nothing is guaranteed.

Many credit repair companies will claim to have helped thousands, if not millions, of people by removing negative credit entries and improving their credit scores. But short of asking a close friend or family member who may have used their services and been pleased with the outcome, there is really no way to know for certain.

Are credit repair services really worth it?

That depends.

The reality is that most of the services that credit repair companies offer are things that you can do yourself. For example, reviewing and disputing errors on your credit report is something you can do without professional help.

That being said, the process of disputing claims can sometimes be tedious. You will most likely need to contact several parties, including lenders and credit reference agencies. You might also have to wait a considerable time for a response.

It’s understandable that you might prefer to focus your time on other things. That’s when contacting a credit repair company to do the dirty work for you could help.

Naturally, it is only worthwhile if there are actually mistakes or errors on your report and the credit repair company’s efforts lead to their removal.

Bottom-line

In a nutshell, some credit repair services can work, but whether you really need them is up to you. Before you contact them, take time to really think about whether you will be getting value for your money.

Just as importantly, don’t forget to do your homework to establish whether the company you plan to use is legitimate, particularly if they contacted you offering services. You can start by checking online reviews on sites such as Trustpilot.

The kind of services that a company is offering can also tell you whether a company is credible or not.

For example, be wary of companies that guarantee to improve your credit score. Also be sceptical if a company promises to remove negative but accurate information from your report before it’s automatically removed (such as bankruptcies, CCJs and IVAs).

Finally, companies that ask you to make full payment before it provides its services is best avoided.


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Is it Free to Repair Your Credit Alone?

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You can repair your credit score by fixing errors – for free – without the help of anyone. There are credit repair companies that can help you repair your credit, but those services come at a price. It’s also a great time to start your credit-repair journey alone because the credit bureaus have opened up access to track your progress yourself!

What Does a Credit Repair Company Do?

Credit repair is defined as fixing your credit reports to raise your credit score. Borrowers with negative marks on their credit reports are often tempted to enlist the help of credit repair companies, but the truth is, you can fix your own credit reports alone.

A credit repair company can’t randomly raise your credit score just because you paid them (if they advertise this, beware). What credit repair companies can do is help you remove inaccurate information and accounts from your credit reports. They can contact your creditors for you, and with your permission, look at your credit reports to see if there are errors that need to be corrected.

However, you don’t need a credit repair company to do any of this, because it’s your right to dispute incorrect information yourself and have it fixed for free.

Dispute Inaccuracies Yourself to Repair Credit

Is it Free to Repair Your Credit Alone?Credit repair by a dispute is the process of correcting errors on your credit reports with the goal to improve your credit score. For example, say you had an account in collections and you paid it off, but it’s been a few months and the credit bureaus haven’t reported it as resolved yet. You can file a dispute with that credit bureau, send proof that you paid that collection account off, to have it accurately reported on your credit reports to improve your credit score.

It doesn’t cost you anything to file a dispute – except maybe your time and energy. If you have multiple errors on your credit reports and don’t have the time to resolve them, then a credit repair company may be worth your time. But if you only have a few things that need to be corrected, then doing it yourself saves you money.

If your credit reports are littered with inaccuracies and you don’t have the time or know-how to resolve them, then visit our resource center for more information on credit repair companies.

What Can I Fix on My Credit Reports?

For a dispute to be considered, you typically need to provide proof that the disputed account is inaccurate. This means you may not be able to “fix” every negative mark on your credit reports.

If you filed for bankruptcy and it’s reported as such, you can’t simply report that bankruptcy as inaccurate to remove it from your credit reports. The credit bureaus have up to 30 days to investigate the account you disputed, and if proven inaccurate, they remove it. If they find that the account is correctly reported, it stays on your credit reports.

Here are some examples of what you can dispute:

  • Accounts or information that were the result of identity theft or accounts that aren’t yours
  • Incorrect personal information such as your birth date or past addresses
  • Duplicate accounts
  • Payments that were reported late but were actually on time
  • Inaccurate loan balances
  • An account’s status (active, closed, past-due)
  • Hard inquiries that you never approved
  • Accounts that should have been included in bankruptcy

You can file a dispute online for free with all three credit reporting agencies: TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax. In many cases, you need some kind of proof that a disputed account is inaccurate, so it may be wise to gather supporting documents such as receipts, verification emails, or screenshots to increase your chances of it getting removed. Sometimes, a credit bureau may not need any proof to remove inaccurate information, but that usually depends on what you’re reporting.

Checking Your Credit Repair Progress

Due to the pandemic, the credit bureaus are allowing all consumers the opportunity to request their credit reports for free each week. Visit www.annualcreditreport.com to request your free credit reports so you can keep track of your progress, check on disputed accounts, and make sure your credit reports remain accurate.

Normally, you only get one free credit report from each bureau every 12 months. The recent havoc has created the need for borrowers to keep track of their financial wellness, so weekly access is available until April 2022 – so jump on it while you can!

No Errors? Build Credit Other Ways

Errors can happen, but bad credit could simply be the result of past mistakes, financial instability, job loss, divorce, or just a lack of credit history. If your credit reports are accurate and you have nothing to fix, then building a credit history with new credit could be the path to take.

Installment loans are a great way to build a payment history since installment loans such as mortgages and auto loans typically last for years. If you completely pay off an installment loan without any mistakes, it could boost your credit score significantly and possibly increase your chances of getting future credit because you’ve proven your ability to repay borrowed money.

Many borrowers start off their credit history with a car loan, and other bad credit borrowers can get back on track with one, too. It’s not always easy to get approved for an auto loan when your credit score isn’t great, but we want to help.

Bad Credit Lending Opportunities

If taking on an installment loan to build your credit score is the route you want to take, let us guide your way at Auto Credit Express. We’ve spent over two decades cultivating a nationwide network of special finance dealerships that specialize in assisting borrowers with less than perfect credit. To get matched to a dealer in your local area, complete our free auto loan request form.

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