I am not one of the financial advisers for Ner Wallet. I’m just an average Joe, trying to repair my credit and bring up my score. With that settled, onward to your questions.
Way to go on validating the so-called delinquent debt. That’s a sure fire way to see if it is yours or not.
I’ve heard both sides of the coin about paying a debt. Paying it off isn’t going to remove it any faster. I think the debt stays on report for 7 years(don’t quote me on that). Then too, I was told by a lender that not paying it isn’t a bad thing. I asked him why? He replied with, if you pay it off it’s still shows on your report and some lenders may consider you a risk because, you paid it off.
Now, to address secured credit card and credit builder loan. Where your credit file is so thin, both are an excellent choice. Just remember to keep your credit card at(or below)30% of total credit limit. Some say keep it as low as 10%. And ALWAYS pay on time. There’s nothing more damaging than a late payment on your credit file.
I hope this helps.