During college I made some poor choices regarding my finances and credit which very negatively affected my credit score. I am now in my 30's and am attempting to raise my score enough to get a mortgage loan.
I disputed everything negative on my report, and had a few things removed which has already helped my score. I also saved money and got a secured credit card that will help me continue to build good credit.
Here's what I need help with:
1) Collections. I have two accounts in collections. One will fall off my report 12/18 (we'll call it collection A), one is more recent and will take at least 4 years to fall off the report (Collection B). I have sent a "Pay for Delete" (via certified mail) letter to each company, politely and clearly written with a PARTIAL SETTLEMENT offer for the old debt and a PAY IN FULL offer for the more recent one. We are 3 days away from 30 day mark since receiving the certified mail receipts, with no response at all. I am happy to pay these debts, and have the money set aside to do so, however, I am hoping that it is possible to have the negative marks removed once I pay the debt.
-What should my next step be? Do I wait a few weeks and write another letter? Should I try to find the president or person in charge instead of the customer service department and see if they will accept my offer?
-How long should I fight this battle before giving up, paying the debts, having them listed as paid collections on my account and suffer the credit consequences?
-Since Collection B falls off my account 12/18, is it worth it just to wait for it to be removed without paying it?
2) Late/missed payments. During the first time I was in college, I took two medical leaves, and while dealing with more serious concerns, I let one month of student loan payments go. Because I have multiple loans working at the same time, this is now listed as 9 missed/late payments on a closed/transferred student loan account (US), and 7 missed/late payments on an account that is currently deferred/paying as agreed (FL).
For my old loan (US): There are 9 late payments listed during the time I was on medical leave (yes, I know now that I was responsible for staying on top of that, but my medical issues took precedence and I didn't even consider it.)
For my current loan (FL): (paying as agreed/deferred while I am still in school): I disputed these negative marks with all three credit bureaus and Experian and Equifax both erased all of them, TransUnion erased four but left 3.
I wrote Goodwill Adjustment letters to both companies explaining my situation, sent them via certified mail, and have received no correspondence. I'm not sure how/why FL would remove late payments entirely on two credit reports, but then only partially on another?
-What should my next step here be? Do I try writing another letter to someone higher up? Do I try calling these people since it's not about collections or admitting to owning debt?
Any and all advice would be greatly appreciated!! Thank you!