I took out a title loan due to an emergency about 1.5 years ago. I’m a single mom, newly divorced trying to make ends meet while bettering our lives.
Unfortunately, in August 2016 I became unemployed. I contacted the finance company and explain the situation and they reminded me that I signed up for unemployment insurance. They gave me the paperwork in September, I filled it out, and sent it off. In late January, early February 2017 I finally received a decision letter back. They denied me the unemployment insurance because there was a rule that the loan had to be open for a certain amount of time and I missed the deadline by four days. During these months I was able to secure a full-time good paying job and when I was caught up with living expenses and rent and all the necessary things I started making payments again. Technically, I was behind four months. The manager still work with me, understood message rationale, and told me to just keep making payments every month and that they would “work something out“ with me. He mentioned that they could roll those missed payments into the end of the loan. We never discussed it further, I assumed incorrectly that it was done, and I never signed anything. Each month since February 2017 I have made monthly payments. I typically call down to their office ask what the minimum payment is with the credit card fee and I pay via debit card and get the receipt emailed to me. I pulled my credit report about two month ago and was shocked to see that this company had reported me late over 11 months. This has effectively destroyed my credit and I am not able to finance a much-needed newer and more reliable car in the near future. I would like to stress that every month that I called I was not late and I always asked what was due and I was never told that I needed to pay more, or that the payment needed with anything more than my $210. There was no collection activity, I was not notified that they were reporting negative information, and all of my monthly statements that I saved do not list any past due amounts.
(Exact dates are estimated as I do not have my records with me).
Because I was never informed, my statements never reported past due amounts, and there was no collection activity on their part is it possible for them to still report me as late for almost a year? I would like to add that in October of this year I call down to the office to speak with somebody about my credit report and they happily told me that they did me a huge favor by rolling those for missed payments to the back end of my loan. I would rather have payed instead of being locked in to a high interest loan longer than necessary. I guess my question is, am I completely screwed, is my credit completely trashed four years now, and is there anything I can do about this ?
It’s an interesting situation.
You have a valid argument considering the monthly statement do not show any amount past due. That will be the evidence you will need to support your point. Don’t lose those statements.
However I think you may get further faster on this if you find a local consumer attorney who can write a letter for you to their legal department. Basically I would make the proposition through the attorney that because your statements say you are current or not past due that they just update the credit report instead of taking this further.
However if the finance company does want to be jerks about this, up until the point they rolled your late payments into the back of the loan you were technically past due. What would be interesting to see is if they charged you a late fee each month or it seems they just accepted your regular payment. In that case it is further proof they did not actually consider your account delinquent.
Find an inexpensive local attorney who can help you get a letter of for $100-$200 or so.