My husband and I are in debt, but only about 4,600 dollars in. Technically, about another 8,000, but that account is my car loan and it’s current and because we have the money, we plan to keep it current. I’m not completely worried about paying it off ahead of time, I don’t mind having a good account being reported every month.
However, the other $4,600 is killing our credit. Our credit score is in the 400s and we can’t get out of it. Luckily, it’s tax season and we also get a big bonus in about 3 weeks of about $3,000 dollars. So, we figure all together we’ll have close to $4,500 to put away and put towards our debt. Now, I say debt, but that debt is in collections.
My question is, how do we fix it? I understand we need to pay, but i’ve read horror stories about just calling the collection agency and paying it over the phone, and never having it taken off the report. I want a clear-cut way on contacting these people, paying them ONLY what we owe, and having it on our report as ‘paid in full’ Everything i’ve read hasn’t even given me the first clue on how to begin this process and i’m scared our credit will never improve.
We desperately want a house, we’ll be married 2 years this summer and i’m exhausted from all this renting. I’m just worried that I won’t even get the chance to look at real estate this summer if we never fix this.
Any help would be greatly appreciated.
You are in a good position to do this since you will have cash in hand to pay the reduced and agreed amount right away. Additionally, your credit is already trashed so we don’t need to worry about doing more damage with a settled debt.
You will have to pay income tax on the amount of debt forgiven but with the cash you’ll have on hand you can estimate that amount and pay it now.
That should give you some money left over to use to start saving for your house.
If you do decide to go down the debt settlement route, please use this link for debt settlement information and let a professional handle this for you. Companies that routinely do settlements will do the work for you and know the best deals available.
If you don’t want to follow that approach, get a copy of your consolidated credit report, it will identify who is reporting your debt now, contact those people using the information provided on the consolidated credit report and send your payment to the collector by some traceable means like UPS, FEDEX, or USPS. You just want proof they received it.
I am concerned that you are getting such a big refund check. It sounds like you are having too much taken out of your paychecks each month and I bet you could use those extra funds monthly rather than letting the U.S. government use your money for free throughout the year.
Once you take care of this debt, come back, update me and I’ll help you to rebuild your credit so you can hopefully get your new home in two years.