Start My Answer

How to beat COAF

Dena Standley | October 19, 2022

Dena Standley
Legal Expert, Paralegal
Dena Standley, BA

Dena Standley is a seasoned paralegal with more than 20 years of experience in legal research and writing, having received a certification as a Legal Assistant/Paralegal from Southern Technical College.

Edited by Hannah Locklear

Hannah Locklear
Editor at SoloSuit
Hannah Locklear, BA

Hannah Locklear is SoloSuit’s Marketing and Impact Manager. With an educational background in Linguistics, Spanish, and International Development from Brigham Young University, Hannah has also worked as a legal support specialist for several years.

Sending a credit report dispute letter is as easy as pie with this guide.

Summary: COAF can damage your credit score and hurt you financially. SoloSuit can help.

Whenever you request your credit report from the major credit bureaus, you hope everything is in order. You also hope to recognize every account in your file. From time to time, though, some unknown accounts sneak up on you.

COAF on your credit report stands for Capital One's auto financing arm, also known as Capital One Auto Finance. It's a legitimate company, although not BBB accredited. They provide auto loans and partner with dealerships to prequalify consumers for loans. If you see COAF on your credit report, you likely applied for or cosigned a car loan. You may have requested prequalification, in which case it appears as a soft pull. If you don't recognize it, it might be a reporting error.

A soft inquiry is not a problem as it won't affect your credit score. It's hard inquiries you should be concerned about because they can make your credit score drop significantly. As a matter of priority, you want your credit score as high as possible.

A hard inquiry is when a lender or creditor pulls your full credit report to see if you qualify for financing or a credit card account. Every time a company pulls your full credit report, your credit score significantly drops even if you don't wind up qualifying for the loan. These inquiries affect your credit for up to a year and will only drop off the report after two years.

There are steps you can take to avoid hard inquiries on your report.

You can avoid COAF's hard inquiries on your report

While you may not entirely avoid having COAF on your report when you apply for a car loan, you can reduce the effect it has on your credit score. Here are a few steps of caution you can take:

  • Don't let lenders pull your credit report too many times
  • Make as few trips to dealerships as possible
  • Be wary of cosigning car loans

Here's why you need to be careful.

Don't let lenders pull your credit report too often

Car dealerships work together with lenders to find a loan that fits your needs. The problem is that dealerships get so excited to sell that they go from one lender to another without realizing how the inquiries are hurting your credit score.

Also, depending on the scoring model used, either FICO or VantageScore, you have between fourteen to forty-five days to pull your full credit report, after which you start piling hard inquiries on your statement. The best strategy would be to begin a car financing project within the limited time you have to complete the process.

Make as few trips to dealerships as possible

When you first apply for prequalification for a car loan, the lender doesn't have to pull your full credit report to check your credit. The moment you make the trip to the dealership, you have completed the process. You'll have to give your full information before taking a test drive. At that moment, the inquiry is considered a hard pull on your report.

Before visiting dealers, take your time to evaluate your options to prevent COAF hard inquiries.

Be wary of cosigning car loans

Helping your friends and family out when they need a car loan but don't have a good credit score is okay. Just remember that the entry reflects on your report as well. It can boost your score if the person is responsible and pays on time. On the other hand, the negative information affects you if they miss payments. Make sure you cosign loans for someone you trust.

But what if the hard inquiry already reflects on your report?

How to remove COAF's hard pulls from your report

Yes, it's possible to remove COAF from your credit report. Try one of the following:

Dispute the inquiry

Sometimes getting a hard inquiry off of your report is as simple as contacting each of the three nationwide credit bureaus on the phone and asking them to remove those entries. You can explain, for example, that you never expected the dealership to contact so many lenders on your behalf. Talk to Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax. They may just delete the extra entries and repair your credit report.

Most of the time, though, you need to go a step further. You need to send a dispute letter to the furnisher (COAF) and three major bureaus. COAF's address is:

Capital One Auto Finance
7933 Preston Road
Plano, TX 75024-2302

To dispute your credit report with the credit bureaus, click on the links or use the mailing addresses below.

Experian's National Consumer Assistance Center
P.O. Box 4500
Allen, TX 75013
TransUnion Consumer Solutions
P.O. Box 2000
Chester, PA 19016-2000
Equifax Information Services, LLC
P.O. Box 740256
Atlanta, GA 30374-0256

Remember that each bureau works independently, so you'll need to dispute separately with each of them. You shouldn't be stuck with errors or hard inquiries on your report because you are scared of disputing. Credit report dispute is a free tool available to keep your credit healthy.

Debt owed to COAF

If you are contacted by COAF about a past-due debt, you first want to ensure that the debt belongs to you and that the information COAF has is correct. A Debt Validation Letter forces COAF to provide you with the information they have about the debt. This is a great way to get COAF off your back, especially if they've been contacting you frequently about the debt. It's also a great way to prevent a lawsuit.

Even if COAF files suit against you, there is no need to panic. Just be sure to file a timely Answer to the court Summons. SoloSuit can help you draft an Answer in less than 15 minutes.

File a report with the Fair Trade Commission (FTC)

A COAF entry on your file may be a reporting error that COAF can quickly rectify, but it can be more serious. It could be a case of identity theft.

Identity theft is a sad reality that threatens consumers every day. If you see a COAF code on your credit report when you are sure you haven't had any dealings with Capital One, you may be a victim of identity theft. As a matter of urgency and priority, report the issue with the Fair Trade Commission (FTC) so that they can investigate the case and repair your credit report.

It's unwise to ignore hard pulls on your credit report. They affect your credit score. Do all you can to prevent hard inquiries. Even after they reflect on your file, you can remove them by disputing the entries, working with a credit repair company, or reporting errors and suspicious entries to the FTC.

If COAF (or Capital One) is suing you, respond ASAP

If Capital One has filed a lawsuit against you for an auto loan debt that you owe, don't panic—SoloSuit's got you covered. Here are three simple steps to help you beat Capital One in court, without hiring an attorney:

  1. Draft a written Answer and respond to each claim listed in the Complaint
  2. Assert your affirmative defenses in the Answer
  3. File the Answer with the court, and send a copy to Capital One's attorney

SoloSuit can help you draft and file an Answer in all 50 states.

To learn more, check out this video with tips on drafting the strongest Answer possible. George Simons, SoloSuit's CEO, breaks down 6 effective hints to help you draft a winning Answer:

What is SoloSuit?

SoloSuit makes it easy to respond to a debt collection lawsuit.

How it works: SoloSuit is a step-by-step web-app that asks you all the necessary questions to complete your answer. Upon completion, you can either print the completed forms and mail in the hard copies to the courts or you can pay SoloSuit to file it for you and to have an attorney review the document.

Respond with SoloSuit

"First time getting sued by a debt collector and I was searching all over YouTube and ran across SoloSuit, so I decided to buy their services with their attorney reviewed documentation which cost extra but it was well worth it! SoloSuit sent the documentation to the parties and to the court which saved me time from having to go to court and in a few weeks the case got dismissed!" – James

Get Started

We have answers.
Join our community of over 40,000 people.

You can ask your questions on the SoloSuit forum and the community will help you out. Whether you need help now or are just looking for support, we're here for you.

Ask a Question

>>Read the FastCompany article: Debt Lawsuits Are Complicated: This Website Makes Them Simpler To Navigate

>>Read the NPR story on SoloSuit: A Student Solution To Give Utah Debtors A Fighting Chance

How to answer a summons for debt collection in your state

Here's a list of guides for other states.

All 50 states.

  • Alabama
  • Alaska
  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Hawaii
  • Idaho
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • Montana
  • Nebraska
  • Nevada
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New Mexico
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • South Carolina
  • South Dakota
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Utah; File a Motion to Satisfy Judgment
  • Vermont
  • Virginia
  • Washington
  • West Virginia
  • Wisconsin
  • Wyoming

    Guides on how to beat every debt collector

    Being sued by a different debt collector? Were making guides on how to beat each one.

    Win against credit card companies

    Is your credit card company suing you? Learn how you can beat each one.

    Going to Court for Credit Card Debt — Key Tips

    How to Negotiate Credit Card Debts

    How to Settle a Credit Card Debt Lawsuit — Ultimate Guide

    Get answers to these FAQs

    Need more info on statutes of limitations? Read our 50-state guide.

    Why do debt collectors block their phone numbers?

    How long do debt collectors take to respond to debt validation letters?

    What are the biggest debt collector companies in the US?

    Is Zombie Debt Still a Problem in 2019?

    SoloSuit FAQ

    If a car is repossessed, do I still owe the debt?

    Is Portfolio Recovery Associates Legit?

    Is There a Judgment Against Me Without my Knowledge?

    Should I File Bankruptcy Before or After a Judgment?

    What is a default judgment?— What do I do?

    Summoned to Court for Medical Bills — What Do I Do?

    What Happens If Someone Sues You and You Have No Money?

    What Happens If You Never Answer Debt Collectors?

    What Happens When a Debt Is Sold to a Collection Agency

    What is a Stipulated Judgment?

    What is the Deadline for a Defendants Answer to Avoid a Default Judgment?

    Can a Judgement Creditor Take my Car?

    Can I Settle a Debt After Being Served?

    Can I Stop Wage Garnishment?

    Can You Appeal a Default Judgement?

    Do I Need a Debt Collection Defense Attorney?

    Do I Need a Payday Loans Lawyer?

    Do student loans go away after 7 years? — Student Loan Debt Guide

    Am I Responsible for My Spouses Medical Debt?

    Should I Marry Someone With Debt?

    Can a Debt Collector Leave a Voicemail?

    How Does Debt Assignment Work?

    What Happens If a Defendant Does Not Pay a Judgment?

    How Does Debt Assignment Work?

    Can You Serve Someone with a Collections Lawsuit at Their Work?

    What Is a Warrant in Debt?

    How Many Times Can a Judgment be Renewed in Oklahoma?

    Can an Eviction Be Reversed?

    Does Debt Consolidation Have Risks?

    What Happens If You Avoid Getting Served Court Papers?

    Does Student Debt Die With You?

    Can Debt Collectors Call You at Work in Texas?

    How Much Do You Have to Be in Debt to File for Chapter 7?

    What Is the Statute of Limitations on Debt in Washington?

    How Long Does a Judgment Last?

    Can Private Disability Payments Be Garnished?

    Can Debt Collectors Call From Local Numbers?

    Does the Fair Credit Reporting Act Work in Florida?

    The Truth: Should You Never Pay a Debt Collection Agency?

    Should You Communicate with a Debt Collector in Writing or by Telephone?

    Do I Need a Debt Negotiator?

    What Happens After a Motion for Default Is Filed?

    Can a Process Server Leave a Summons Taped to My Door?

    Learn More With These Additional Resources:

    Need help managing your finances? Check out these resources.

    How to Make a Debt Validation Letter - The Ultimate Guide

    How to Make a Motion to Compel Arbitration Without an Attorney

    How to Stop Wage Garnishment — Everything You Need to Know

    How to File an FDCPA Complaint Against Your Debt Collector (Ultimate Guide)

    Defending Yourself in Court Against a Debt Collector

    Tips on you can to file an FDCPA lawsuit against a debt collection agency

    Advice on how to answer a summons for debt collection.

    Effective strategies for how to get back on track after a debt lawsuit

    New Hampshire Statute of Limitations on Debt

    Sample Cease and Desist Letter Against Debt Collectors

    The Ultimate Guide to Responding to a Debt Collection Lawsuit in Utah

    West Virginia Statute of Limitations on Debt

    What debt collectors cannot do — FDCPA explained

    Defending Yourself in Court Against Debt Collector

    How to Liquidate Debt

    Arkansas Statute of Limitations on Debt

    Youre Drowning in Debt — Heres How to Swim

    Help! Im Being Sued by My Debt Collector

    How to Make a Motion to Vacate Judgment

    How to Answer Summons for Debt Collection in Vermont

    North Dakota Statute of Limitations on Debt

    ClearPoint Debt Management Review

    Indiana Statute of Limitations on Debt

    Oregon Eviction Laws - What They Say

    CuraDebt Debt Settlement Review

    How to Write a Re-Aging Debt Letter

    How to Appear in Court by Phone

    How to Use the Doctrine of Unclean Hands

    Debt Consolidation in Eugene, Oregon

    Summoned to Court for Medical Bills? What to Do Next

    How to Make a Debt Settlement Agreement

    Received a 3-Day Eviction Notice? Heres What to Do

    How to Answer a Lawsuit for Debt Collection

    Tips for Leaving the Country With Unpaid Credit Card Debt

    Kansas Statute of Limitations on Debt Collection

    How to File in Small Claims Court in Iowa

    How to File a Civil Answer in Kings County Supreme Court

    Roseland Associates Debt Consolidation Review

    How to Stop a Garnishment

    Debt Eraser Review

    Do Debt Collectors Ever Give Up?

    Can They Garnish Your Wages for Credit Card Debt?

    How Often Do Credit Card Companies Sue for Non-Payment?

    How Long Does a Judgement Last?

    ​​How Long Before a Creditor Can Garnish Wages?

    How to Beat a Bill Collector in Court