I Had a Walmart Credit Card I Forgot to Pay. It Hurt My Credit. – Estee

“Dear Steve,

I have a bizarrely stupid question. I moved around a few times when I was in college, and I had (among other cards) a WalMart credit card with no balance. I never used it after I moved (I don’t live near a WalMart), and I just forgot about it. After one move, I even forgot to change the address on the card.

In Nov. 2006 I was at WalMart and, thinking that the card was a gift card I had recently received (they looked very similar), used the card to pay for my $20 purchase.

In August 2007, after checking my credit report, I found that the debt had been charged off and my credit had tanked! I got on the phone with the cardholders and paid it (now totaling $26) immediately. Now it’s listed on my credit report as a charge off but shows that the amount has been paid.

I know that it was my responsibility to change my address, but the punishment really seems to outweigh the crime in this case. I have otherwise perfect credit. I’ve never paid a bill late, and I keep my balances really low. My credit score is slowly climbing, but I would of course like for it to be higher.

All of this took place in California. I’m in my early 30’s, if that helps.

Is there anything I can do to get this off of my credit report?

Thanks so so much!

Estee”

Dear Estee,

It’s so old now that it should fall off your credit report this year anyway.

But it sounds to me that your credit score issue isn’t so much that old negative item but that you may not have new good credit items reporting to the credit bureaus.

It’s easy to build good credit. Read How to Easily Rebuild Your Credit and Have Good Credit Again.

I’d also suggest that rather than guess at what has been holding your credit score back that you check your free credit score with CreditKarma.com and use their credit score calculator to see what is really going on.

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

Sincerly,
Steve

You are not alone. I'm here to help. There is no need to suffer in silence. We can get through this. Tomorrow can be better than today. Don't give up.

Damon Day - Pro Debt Coach

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