How much can one bad report on your credit report hurt your credit score?

I’m 26 and up until now have had impeccable credit — I have 4 credit cards that I’ve held for between 3 and 7 years, all always paid on time, a mortgage started 3.5 years ago always paid on time, and a couple of car loans that have been paid off. But recently, I was contacted about a bill that I never heard of before, and am being threatened to have a collections agency go after me and post a negative item on my credit report. The bill is $ 500 and I could pay it, but I feel like this is extortion and I shouldn’t play along. If they do post a negative item that I can’t get rid of, how much can it drop my credit score?

6 thoughts on “How much can one bad report on your credit report hurt your credit score?

  1. pretty_brown_eyes says:

    Another member (starbright2) led me to this site.

    Go to the forums section and there is tons of information regarding credit and things that help and hurt it.

  2. Jack 'N' Box says:

    Don’t give in to the maggots, if you know its not your bill then fight it see a lawyer if you have to. They may back off once they see how serious you are. If it does go on your report thats not the end you can fight that too. I don’t know about the score I live in Canada here it stays on for 6 or 7 years. good luck…This makes me so mad.

  3. hello i am 27and i recently had a collections agency post an account on my credit report for $ 201. i had never heard of it either and i called the people who held the original account and they could not/ would not give me no info but the name. the middle initial was different than mine. i was able to dispute it and they removed it but it still dropped my score by 26 points. as you know it takes awhile to gain 26 beacon points. so be carefull.

  4. I agree with the poster that recommended going to creditboards.
    Do some reading in the newbie forum first then in the credit forum.

    If they contacted you by phone, they have 5 days to send you something in writing, otherwise it is a violation.

    If they contacted you by mail, you have 30 days to request validation before they place it on your reports. If you fail to request validation within the 30 day window, you can still request it, but they can place it on your report.

    Send them a validation letter ASAP. If you are still within the 30 days from first contact, they cannot legally put it on your credit report until they have properly validated.

    If this is truly not your account, don’t pay it. If they continue to harrass you, sue them.

    Go to creditboards. Learn your rights and how to use them. You will be able to learn what constitiutes a validation letter etc.

    After you have done some reading in the newbie forum and in the credit forum and have any questions, feel free to ask them. Many members have been in the same boat you are in now.

    Everything on that site is free to read and use.

  5. misslabeled says:

    You could be the victim of identity theft if you don’t recognize the bill. Ask for proof before you pay anything.

  6. If the bill is legitimate, pay it. If it is not dispute it. Any credit bureau will let you download the form and tell you where to send it.

    I had a collection account show up an my report about 6 years ago and have never had trouble getting credit. I bought a house 3 years ago.

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