There is a great deal of misconception surrounding credit scores and negative credit. Although you may have derogatory credit it may not be impacting your credit as much as you think. In fact, the older the negative credit is (in years, not months) the less impact it will have on credit scoring. And of course, at 7 years the law requires the credit bureaus to remove any negative reporting (except bankruptcy which is 10 years).
Far more important, is the fact that you must be constantly posting positive payment histories on current and new accounts. This means monthly. Credit underwriters give far greater weight to the last 24 months of credit history then anything prior to this. If you don’t have a current history, they would have to go back farther to determine your qualifications.
However, that does not mean if you have older negative credit that it won’t impact your credit score or the fact that you may pay a premium to obtain financing in the form of higher interest rates and fees.
As you are challenging negative credit (and having it removed), you must also be establishing or re-establishing a consistent positive credit profile. Our credit education manual details how to do this, establish new credit (regardless of your current credit condition), optimize your credit and balances and maintain them.
The other factor involved is that as you are restoring your credit and using the credit you have, your credit scores will be in a constant state of flux, going both DOWN and up. There are various factors, such as, when a creditor reports to the bureaus, when your payments are received, have you been searching to extend more credit, who has inquired on your accounts, are some accounts not being used with available balances, what are your current ratios to available credit and so on. Another little know fact, if you dispute or challenge an item, it cannot be used in calculating your credit score until the dispute has been resolved. This may give you a temporary positive in you score.
If you are looking to get your credit scores say from the 500’s into the 700’s remember it is a journey. You won’t be able to have “instant gratification”! Your will need patience and perseverance.