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How Can I Find Out Who I Owe? – Jessica

“Dear Steve,

I’m looking to pay off and debts that have hampered any credit that qualifies me for a new home someday soon. I don’t have the best memory of what I am in debt with since I turned 18. I am 29 now and have been in small debts to banks from overdraft fees, had a child, neglected former cell phone companies, and remember seeing that I may even owe hundreds to a car insurance company that shouldve already been settled and owe nothing to. I havent put my name under any loans, mortgages, are more serious stuff than a hospital.

Is there a free website to find out any debts I still owe that negatively affect my score? Credit sight I visited only pointed out mortgages, loans, etc. Also, are there a number of years that pass when companies let go of any history of det with them and you are “forgiven” on your credit?


Dear Jessica,

Bad debt is reported for up to 7.5 years from the date an account first went delinquent. Just because a debt is no longer listed on your consumer credit report does not mean you don’t owe it.

A debt collector can attempt to collect a debt up till the point where it is legally discharged, as in a bankruptcy, or you die. The statute of limitations, that you might hear about, only limits the ability to pursue you in court, not attempt collection.

If you are looking for a “free” way out of this I think you’ll be disappointed. I much prefer a professional consolidated credit report. There is a charge for a consolidated credit report but it shows what all three credit bureaus are reporting about you in a very easy to read side-by-side format so you can identify who you owe, that is at least reporting.

Creditors are not required to report to any credit bureau. So even a credit report is not an ultimate list of who you might owe and a single bureau credit report is not a good guide on what may be reported out there about you.

I know you are looking for a “free” way to deal with this but once you identify who you may still owe there is no free way to pay off those debts. Repairing this situation is worthwhile but will costs you some money to do it.

At the same time you are exploring who you may owe you also need to be just as dedicated in rebuilding your credit. I’d suggest you read my guide “How to Easily Rebuild Your Credit and Have Good Credit Again.”

Please post your responses and follow-up messages to me on this in the comments section below.

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About Steve Rhode

Steve Rhode
Steve Rhode is the Get Out of Debt Guy and has been helping good people with bad debt problems since 1994. You can learn more about Steve, here.

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