Refer to How to Improve Your Credit Score – Part One in my previous post before reading on.

In my previous post, I shared my credit scores. I also shared that I made a decision to increase my credit scores. Here is what I did to get started:

  1. I purchased two books on how to improve your credit scores.
  2. I purchased Stephen Snyder’s course, “How to Raise Your Credit Scores So You Can Buy More Real Estate.” You can check out Stephen’s course by clicking here.
  3. I downloaded and purchased my credit reports from

Over the next two months, I read the books and followed the steps suggested in Stephen Snyder’s course. In fact, I did everything Stephen recommended. I analyzed the negative reason codes in my scores. For my lowest score, the 660 with Equifax, I found the following negative reason code:

You have a Derogatory Public Record or Collection Item on Your Credit File

This was the first negative reason code in my 660 credit score, which is the main reason for my low score. In further studying this negative reason, I found an incorrect collection listed.

I have included this item below for you to see …


(Click on the picture to enlarge)

My credit report showed an unpaid collection in the amount of $43 to Impact Network. This was reported in July of 2006. Previously, I had long distance phone service through Impact. This service was terminated in 2005 and the final invoice had been paid. Here is what I did to fix this problem:

1. I called Impact Network. The customer service person researched my account and found that the account was paid in full. In fact, the account had been paid in full in August of 2005. I asked them to correct my account status with the credit bureau. They told me it wasn’t their problem. I had to contact their collection company. I asked for the collection company name and phone number. They told me they couldn’t give this information out. I then asked for them to send me a copy of my final invoice showing it was paid. They said they would. 

2. I found the phone number to Equifax and called to dispute this collection account. By the way, finding the phone number is no easy task. I probably spent an hour tracking it down. I spoke to their dispute department and relayed the incorrect collection. They provided me with a confirmation number and promised to investigate this collection further.

3. I was in the process of refinancing three of my investment properties, so I asked my lender to send information to Equifax indicating that the collection was a mistake.

4. I tracked down the collection company on my own. They told me that they had called Impact Networks many times about my account to see the status, but Impact never returned their calls. They told me they would investigate this account further and get back to me.

5. I kept calling Impact Network until I received copy of my final paid invoice showing a zero account balance.

6. I then faxed this invoice with the collection account information to the collection company proving that my balance was paid in full. They agreed to close my collection account. 

7. I wrote a follow-up letter to Equifax detailing the incorrect collection and included the final invoice marked with a zero balance. I sent this letter to them with certified mail…

To be continued in my next blog post!

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