Need a little advice on how best to proceed in my specific situation. I recently realized I need to build my credit up some to pursue a mortgage, and have worked a little with a loan advisor on what steps to take to build positive credit. I was advised not to work with a “credit repair” company as their costs would likely exceed the cost of my issues.
My primary issue is lack of credit history – one old student loan that shows payed off with no late payments reported, and a recently obtained auto loan that is not yet reporting payments (they’re current and early). For many yesrt, I mistakenly assumed no credit/no debt was a good thing and never really had more than a couple of store credit cards which were all paid off and eventually closed and no longer show on my credit report. Obviously, I am learning I essentially need to be in some debt to have good credit, so I am working my credit now.
However, I have one derogatory mark, for less than $ 500 with Portfolio Recovery referencing WFNB. I legitimately don’t recognize this debt, and haven’t been contacted by Portfolio directly. My first knowledge of my “account” was pulling my credit report. I’ve done some reading and it seems this company can be difficult to work with.
I did have one store credit card with WFNB that I paid off in late 2012 that is the only thing I imagine could possibly be linked to this. But Portfolio did not show up on my credit report until mid-2014, and I hadn’t had any contact, statements, or requests for payment from WFNB since 2012 when I payed the account off and closed out the card, so I am even skeptical about that being the “original debt”. In fact, the WFNB account doesn’t reflect on my credit report at all – not as a paid and closed account, and not as a charged-off account either. Is this unusual? When I did have store cards, I didn’t really track my credit, so I don’t know what’s “normal” for CC reporting.
Should I request verification of debt? What do I do if they don’t send documentation?
Assuming the debt ends up being valid:
If they are not currently bothering me, will they start bothering me once I make contact?
Since the only possible account this could be linked to was last paid 3.5 years ago, the statute on collection in CA is 4 years, and they don’t remove deragatories even if paid, should I bother? Or let it age off on its own? Should I wait until the statute is up to make contact, or handle this ASAP? Also, I moved to a different state in 2013 with a longer statute – can the longer statute apply, or will the original state of debt statute override that? Should I just pay it so it ages off on its own?
Will paying it re-age the debt and allow it to sit on my credit report 7 years from payoff? Or does it fall off based on the original default?
Any other advice?