A recent discussion revealed someone’s experience with an unfair and damaging collection account. The story is below, but the alarming facts are these:
- She had an illegitimate collection pop up for a bill insurance should have paid.
- Her credit score dropped over 100 points… from one collection account.
- She had authorized user tradelines.
- The credit score increased 103 points in under 12 days by removing a $195.00 collection.
Here’s the story.
“I’m a recent college graduate and I’m still in my early 20s. Like most young people, I don’t have a very thick credit file. As I tried to transition into adult life, I decided to open an account with Experian to monitor my credit. I knew I wouldn’t have a great credit score (my credit limits are not very high and I don’t have a long history with any cards), however I was shocked to find that my score 659. I had no late payments and I always was very careful about not using too much credit so my usage wasn’t high. That’s when I noticed it – I had a collection.
During my senior year of college, I had kidney stones. I’ve had many before, but they still suck (imagine a knife stabbing you in the back for hours on end). I just went in to the ER for pain management and to verify that it wasn’t anything more serious. At the time, I was covered by two separate insurances. These insurances fought back and forth over who should pay what, and in the end about $150 went unpaid. I should have been fully covered, so I didn’t pay that small amount, and then it went into a collection. Once that happened, I immediately paid it off, not expecting it to have such a negative effect. However, a year later, that collection is still on my credit report, dragging it down. I was distraught, knowing that collections can stay on your report for 7 years. I have plans in the near future to buy a house and another car with my husband, and I knew I wouldn’t get great rates with a score like that.
So I decided to dispute this claim. Experian makes it super easy to dispute online. I simply explained what happened and asked for them to remove it from my account. Usually it takes up to 30 days for the dispute to be resolved, but within 5 hours – yes 5 HOURS!, the collection was off of my credit report. I checked my score, and it had raised 103 points. That’s all it took. One little dispute, 5 minutes of my time, to raise my score so much. It is so important to know what your credit report actually means, because one little change can save you thousands of dollars in the future.”
Here’s the before credit report with the collection.
Page 9 of 14 is the collection account. Page 12 of 14 is the credit score.credit report with collection
Here’s the dispute and update:
The dispute was opened:
The collection was removed:
Here’s the credit report (and score) after the collection was removed.credit repair without collection