Got $250 Video Store Debt Deleted From Credit Report

I had a weird unpaid debt listed on my credit reports, some video store I used to go to in college. I guess they thought I had an overdue video? Anyway, they never sent me any notice about it but yet on my credit report it was listed that I never paid Integral Recovers Inc, who also have never contacted me, some $250. So, about three months ago, I filed a dispute notice with TransUnion, the one credit bureaus report it was listed on, and today I got a nice letter saying they deleted the item. It was all very easy, I just went to annualcreditreport.com, checked my credit report, went to the dispute item area, printed out the one-page form, filled it in saying that I was disputing because I never got any notice about the debt, and mailed it all off. Took less than 10 minutes, tops. Be sure to check your credit report from all three credit bureaus at least once a year for errors and file disputes when information is incorrect. Otherwise, your ability to get credit might be unfairly affected. It’s easier and faster than you might think!

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  1. macfoo says:

    We (both the hubby and I) did this about 3 months before buying a house. While my report was relatively clean (although spotted by a few bad decisions earlier on in life), his was a mess with plenty of disputable items. A little time invested in doing just this saved us a world of hurt when it came time to sign the the dotted line on our home. Even for those that couldn’t be “removed” by the time we got the mortgage, we had letters in our hands of dismissal of the charges that were needed as proof that the item was being dropped.

    Excellent advice even if you don’t have a major purchase waiting in the wings.

  2. Yeah, I’ve been disputing items for years, for instance, Dish Network. I called, cancelled my service August 2004, because I was moving. Disconnected the box. Three months later, I started receiving bills from them, saying I was past due $100 and I was going into collections. Called them, told them I cancelled, I HADN’T HAD THE BOX ON IN 3 MONTHS! I had cable now, at a TOTALLY different address, different county! They refused to cancel out the debt, because I couldn’t provide the confirmation number that I lost during the move… They also acknowledged that they could see the box wasn’t used in the last 3 months! Needless to say… I refuse to pay, have disputed it, the works. They even offered me $25 to make the debt go away… I sent them a letter saying I’d pay $50, one month’s use, under the conditions that they change the status on my credit report to “paid as agreed in FULL”. They lied, said they had no access to that, idiots. So….. you know the rest.

  3. slowinthefastlane says:

    My credit report showed that I had opened a WalMart credit card in Pigeon Forge, TN. The only problem was that I had never been to Tennessee for that matter – and I was 14 at the time that it had occurred. It was pretty easy for them to remove that one, since it was an obvious error. However, it seems that with all of the effort that’s been invested in algorithms to data mine credit reports for marketing and demographic data, it seems that the reporting companies could do a better job at detecting obvious mistakes.

  4. balthisar says:

    Quite honestly, if you have excellent credit, even one negative error won’t negatively affect your ability to get credit. Only you marginal people that don’t pay bills on time and use close to 100% of your credit really have to worry.

  5. jamesmusik says:

    I had exactly the same issue, but TransUnion refused to remove it with basically no explanation.

  6. nequam says:

    I just checked two of my three reports. The Experian showed a Santa Monica, CA address (I have only lived in New England), so I filled out the online dispute form. We’ll see what happens. Other than that, however, the reports are correct and clean.

    My problem, however, is that I activated a credit freeze after losing a credit card. Equifax will not allow me to retrieve my report online, and instructs me to send proof of identity to them through the mail. They want me to include something (e.g., a paystub) displaying my full SS#. Um, doesn’t it defeat the purpose of a fraud freeze to make me send my SS# on a form in the mail?

  7. Amelie says:

    @nequam:
    I had trouble with wrong addresses showing up on the online banking registrations. They said Experian gave them the information, but when I used the free credit report, there were no addresses listed. And of course getting in contact with Experian, is impossible. How do I delete something they don’t list on “my copy”?

  8. Amelie says:

    @balthisar: Just because someone doesn’t have excellent credit or financial difficulties, doesn’t make them “marginal.”

    Often the difference between good credit and bad, is the hand you were dealt when you were born. “There but for the grace of God, go I.”

  9. @balthisar: Incorrect, inaccurate, and erroneous information on your credit report should concern everyone. Even perfect people like you.

  10. lemur says:

    I checked my credit reports just yesterday by using annualcreditreort. I got the reports from Experian and Equifax. Nothing bad on there. However, TransUnion did not give me my credit report. They just had a bunch of ads for additional services and stuff I did not want. I checked carefully, turned off my ad blocker but nothing came up. I checked to make sure there was no error message on screen saying that there was a problem. And the last time I checked my report with them was over a year ago so there’s no reason they should not give it to me. So I filed a complaint with annualcreditreport.

    The only strange thing I found was Capital One going crazy checking my credit report at Experian.

  11. nequam says:

    @Amelie: It can be so frustrating! Good news, though: I already got the results of the Experian investigation (by email) and they’ve removed the incorrect address.

  12. My credit has been royally fucked since I was 18, well, at least that’s when I learned that my 3rd grade best friends mom had used my name to do all sorts of bad things. I went to rent an apartment at 18 and was denied, I’d somehow already racked up about 20g’s in unpaid debt. This was in 1988 that I found out… long before id theft was all the rage, and long before there were any “easy” or at least helpful ways to get the crap taken care of. ‘Twas a nightmare, and sometimes it still is, or at least it was until about the mid 90’s, crap just kept cropping up, we all know how great the credit bureaus are of keeping track of stuff…. ( the police warrants etc. that were in my name, but actually for the mom, were in comparison a breeze to clear up)

    Anyboo, one thing I remember very well was calling one of the credit bureaus, can’t remember which one, and I put in all my info over the phone, and a message comes back basically saying “we can’t talk to you, bye” “click” ….

    I ended up calling back with my mothers information (her idea, brilliant as always), inputting all that info and Lo and Behold, a live human was on the line. When I started giving her my information, she was of course confused and then her attitude drastically changed, and I could tell she was expecting me to go all rage-y on her… I didn’t, of course, – more flies with honey and all that – and she ended up giving me the information I needed…

    ‘Thing is tho, that’s just one of the ways they make life hell, they through up these road blocks that people who have reasonable credit don’t even realize are there… at least they used to, I haven’t had any problems since ’97ish

    I still don’t have a credit card. In October of 2001, a month after 9/11, you should have seen the womans face when I went in to pay for an airline ticket to the east coast with actual cash.

    Super bonus though, because of that, I was unable to get myself into REAL debt. Couldn’t get credit cards, couldn’t get loans, by the time it was mostly cleared, I had what I needed, own car, own everything, a few bucks in savings, with 0 debt. It wasn’t till years later that I realized that even though sometimes I had to scrimp and go without, my friends who had all the cool toys, (like cable TV, VCR’s, and video games, poor me, I had none!) they were actually thousand$ in the hole while I was standing on solid ground.

    / this concludes my morning ramble. apologies.

  13. nequam says:

    @alphafemale: “It wasn’t till years later that I realized that even though sometimes I had to scrimp and go without, my friends who had all the cool toys, (like cable TV, VCR’s, and video games, poor me, I had none!) they were actually thousand$ in the hole while I was standing on solid ground.”

    Right on! That’s exactly why it is so dangerous to gauge your well being against the “stuff” that your friends have. Who knows how many sleepless nights they spend worrying about their debt. I mean, at least your credit problems were caused by a crook — imagine being one of those people who are at fault for their own bad credit.

  14. TexasBelle says:

    @lemur: I had a similar problem with TransUnion and thought it was just me! I actually got a screen telling me I had already received my free report for the year — not true.

  15. ShortBus says:

    Using a combination of disputes with the bureaus, sending targeted “goodwill” emails to execs with collection agencies and creditors, and applying for new credit with companies less stringent credit requirements, I’ve managed to bump up my girlfriend’s FICO from 505 to 710 over the last six months.

    It’s a lot of work, but very worth it.

  16. lemur says:

    @TexasBelle: In my case, there was no explanation. Nothing.

    If memory serves me well, I think the first time I requested my credit report from TransUnion, 1.5-2 years ago, the web site reported that they could not show it to me online. Then I received a letter in the mail saying they had nothing on file about me. However, at that time, both Experian and Equifax had files about me so I don’t know why TransUnion did not.

  17. TexasBelle says:

    Another thing to remember when you’re making a major purchase, like a house, and your score is on the borderline, just shy of getting a better rate: There is a small behavioral change you can make within 1 to 2 months of applying for the credit that might bump your score up enough to get you a lower rate. When buying my house 2 years ago, I decided to see what would happen if I paid my credit cards in full just before the billing dates, rather than just before the due dates, as was my usual custom. This resulted in my credit card bills showing zero balances. Since statement balances are what get reported to the credit bureaus, I had, for a couple of months, zero credit card debt — at least from the point of view of the credit bureaus. My score rose about 10 points.

  18. Misztrez_Mish says:

    I’ve been fighting with Equifax for months to correct a BIG error on my credit report. After calling their customer service line for the what seemed 100th time, I spoke with a “supervisor” (who knows if it really was, although he was more informative than the other I had talked to). Apparently I have a different social security number on my credit report – off by two numbers. Never had this problem until I purchased my credit report online from Equifax a few months ago.

    The funny thing is that every single piece of information – all of my accounts and old addresses – you name it, are completely correct. All of these institutions that I’ve patronized have my correct social security number – so I’m positive that this is a mess-up on the part of Equifax. I first noticed it because I would randomly have a “new account” or strange inquiry alert and then it would mysteriously vanish the next day. Yeah – I called all of the companies whenever a new account or inquiry showed up. I always got the same response – they don’t have my information – never heard of me – no worries. I can only assume that these mystery accounts that vanish shortly after recieving an alert really belong to whomever’s social security number Equifax mistakenly has on my report.

    I’ve spoken with customer service over and over again, filled out their stupid online form (they really don’t read customer concerns that they get through that – it’s always the same automated response), and I printed out a dispute form and sent in a copy of my social security card as requested. Nothing. I’m ready to email ALL of their higher ups (after a hour or so of research, I have my list).

  19. WraithSama says:

    @alphafemale:
    I hope that friend’s mom got what was coming to her.

  20. Buran says:

    @nequam: Having lots of stuff doesn’t necessarily mean debt, but I know what you mean.

    I also hope you did press charges and get that woman arrested. I think she should pay you restitution, too, for causing you so much trouble.

  21. MyCokesBiggerThanYours says:

    1) Rental videos cost much more than $19.95. That explains the price – an unreturned video. As for they never sent a bill… I just don’t believe it. They guy was trying to dodge a bill and it caught up with him.

    In most cases we create these problems ourselves by being irresponsible.

  22. bryanoak says:

    @lemur: What browser were you using? I had the same problem with Trans Union the other day, after having no problems with Equifax or Experian. I was using Safari on a Mac. However, when I switched to Firefox, it worked fine.

    Start at annualcreditreport.com again, filling out the info and all, and it should work for you.