When my son graduated from college, I hired Stacy C. Notley of The Manning Group, Inc. (credit & debt management experts, based in Dallas) to assess his credit.
To our surprise he had several small unpaid bills on his credit reports. According to Stacy, small unpaid bills are more worrisome to lenders than a large unpaid bill. Although no banker likes unpaid debts, a large bill is viewed as a “condition”; whereas a small unpaid bill, is considered a “choice” (i.e. that someone is choosing not to pay a bill)
In our case, my son had graduated from college, moved out of his home rental, and after six months, the forwarding address was no longer valid. We had no idea he had two or three small unpaid bills.
I was recently working with a pro athlete and he was looking for housing. Just like my son, he had no idea of an unpaid debt left over from college. As a result, his rental application was denied. Unfortunately, after the debt is paid, and the release is granted, it can take at least 60 days or longer for the credit bureaus to update your credit history.
Stacy says to think of your credit like your car, truck or SUV, in the sense that it needs constant care. Once a week, you fill up with gas, every couple of months you change the oil (to protect the engine) and rotate the ties (for better mileage), every 10,000 miles or so, you need a tune up, etc. Credit is the same.
No one ever gets to a point where some effort is not required to keep and maintain your credit rating and FICO Scores; and only successful people have credit issues!
The Manning Group advises that individuals hire teams such as theirs to pay these unpaid balances that are reflected on a credit report, to make certain it is paid properly and that their clients are released from future liability.
If an individual pays the entity directly, there is no guarantee that they will release all liability and report the payment to the credit bureaus or remove the collection account on your credit report. An “improperly” paid collection/past due account is like a paid speeding ticket, you don’t owe any money – but it still hurts your auto insurance rates!
Whether you are an athlete or not, life events such as an upcoming graduation, after a divorce/breakup and before a major purchase (like a home or luxury vehicle) are good times to pull your credit. Remember that it may take months to remove outdated content from your credit reports, so plan ahead and pull your credit six months before needing stellar credit.
The opinions, beliefs and viewpoints expressed by the author do not necessarily reflect the opinions, beliefs and viewpoints of the SportStar Relocation or official policies of SportStar Relocation.
Presented by Debbie Murray of Allie Beth Allman & Associates
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