I moved to an apartment last fall and rented out my house to friends. As a favor, I gave them a couple of months to transfer the utility accounts into their name. That went smoothly for everything except the gas account. The bills got caught up in my mail forwarding, I thought they had everything paid when they transferred the account in December, and one bill wound up not getting paid in a timely manner. I recently got a credit collection letter for $109 and paid it off immediately. It was a stupid oversight and I should have been more careful, but it slipped through the cracks.
I check my credit report every few months (I check one of the big three from the annual credit report website, staggering which one I pick) and the bad debt showed up on my report. Argh. I have two other negative items -- another bad utility debt for the staggering sum of $36 from when I was in my early 20s and I moved out of a rental house and forgot about one of the last bills. Young stupid mistake, but it's going to drop off the report in two months. The other is a $10,000 student loan that I cosigned for an ex (my worst financial decision to date). He made a few late payments around 2005, but he's been on time since then. The late payments really dinged my credit, but I've been keeping an eye on it and I've accepted that I may just have to take responsibility for it. Everything else on my credit report is positive and I have about four years of on-time mortgage payments. My score is in the low 700s, not great, but not awful. (I check my score using credit karma, and I'm not sure how accurate that is -- I may shell out the $15 or whatever to check my actual credit score).
So my question is, is there anything I could do about this utility write-off? Would it be worth it to call the utility company and explain the situation and ask them nicely to remove it? Or would that get me laughed off the phone? I had all on-time payments for three years while I was using their service. And what kind of impact would it have on my credit score?