How to Remove Late Payments from Your Credit Report

Опубликовал Admin
29-11-2017, 18:00
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Late payments on your credit report can lower your credit score. This can be a problem if you are applying for a home or car loan. However, you may be able to write a goodwill letter or make a negotiation with your creditor to have the late payment removed. This typically works if you have only 1 or 2 late payments on your account. If you think the late payment is an error, then write a dispute letter to the credit reporting agencies.

Writing a Goodwill Letter

  1. Thank the creditor and detail the reason for the letter. Start your letter off on the right tone by thanking your creditor for their service. This way, the creditor will be more open to removing the late payment. Additionally, make sure to state that your letter is a goodwill letter and not a dispute letter.
    • For example, “To whom it may concern, I have been a loyal customer for over five years, and I would like to first thank you for your services throughout the years. I am writing to ask that a goodwill adjustment be made to my account. This is not a dispute of accuracy of credit reporting.”
  2. Explain the reasons for the late payment. Acknowledge that the late payment is your fault, but that certain circumstances prevented you from paying on time. Explain what happened so the company can sympathize with you. Avoid using the excuse, “I forgot.”
    • For example, “During the time that the late payment occurred, I became hospitalized due to an illness. Unfortunately, this caused me to lose my job and I wasn’t able to make my payments on time.”
  3. Include the reason that you want the late payment removed. If you need to improve your credit score to qualify for a car or mortgage loan, include this in the letter. If you have an existing loan with a high interest rate, then wanting to refinance your loan is also a legitimate reason for wanting to improve your credit score.
    • For example, “I am about to begin the process of purchasing a new car. When reviewing my loan options, the loan officer notified me that the late payment was preventing me from taking advantage of low interest rates."
  4. Remind the creditor that you were making consistent payments. Pointing out that you were making consistent payments before the late payment occurred may help sway the creditor's opinion in your favor. Additionally, if you have been making consistent payments since the late payment occurred, point this out too.
    • For example, "Once I overcame my illness, I was able to find a new job. I have been making consistent payments since then. I would also like to note that I had been making consistent payments before my illness. Since I have a pretty consistent record, I am asking that you please give me a second chance, and remove the late payment from my account.”
  5. Conclude the letter by thanking them for their time again. Maintain a friendly tone, even if you think there was some kind of error. Also offer to answer any questions that they might have, or provide any supporting documents that may help them decide.
    • For example, “Thank you for your time and consideration. I really appreciate it. Please feel free to contact me for any additional documentation that would assist you in reaching a positive outcome.”
  6. Send the letter to the company’s Vice President, CEO, or director. You may be able to find this information on the creditor’s website. If you are in debt to your bank, ask the officers at your local branch for an address.
    • Make sure to request a “return receipt request” service. This way you can keep track of what the creditor received for your records.

Negotiating Removals

  1. Contact your creditor’s customer service. Visit the website of the creditor you are in debt to. Call the customer service number provided. Explain to the representative that you would like to talk to someone about a late payment on your account. They will either transfer your call, or give you the account manager’s information.
    • A customer service number is typically located at the bottom of the webpage.
  2. Sign up for automatic payments. Many creditors will agree to remove a late payment if you sign up for automatic payments in exchange for the removal. Let the creditor know that you have the funds, like a stable job, to qualify for automatic payments.
    • This method works well if you only have 1 or 2 late payments on your account.
  3. Offer to pay off the balance. Tell the creditor that you are willing to pay off all or part of the debt in exchange for deletion of the late payments. If the creditor agrees, make sure to request the agreement in writing.
    • If you have a payment that is more than 120 days late, then this method may not work.

Disputing a Late Payment

  1. Obtain a copy of your credit report. Request a credit report from all three credit reporting agencies: TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian. You can do this by calling 1-877-322-8228, or by visiting their website at annualcreditreport.com. You will need to provide your name, Social Security number, address, and date of birth.
    • You are allowed a free copy of your credit report every 12 months.
  2. Write a dispute letter. At the top of the letter, write your complete name and current address. Write a letter that is simple and to the point. Identify each disputed item on the report and the reasons for why you are disputing the information. Then request that the disputed item be removed or corrected. Before sending the letter, make a copy of it for your records.
    • For example, “To whom it may concern, I am writing you to dispute the information on my report. The late Amazon payment is an error because I paid it on time. I am asking that the item be deleted from my account. Enclosed is my report with the disputed items circled, as well as my bank statement supporting my position. Please review the information and correct the error as soon as possible.”
  3. Include supporting materials. Include a copy of your credit report with the disputed item circled in red. Include copies of payment records from your bank, court documents, and any other materials that support your case.
    • Make sure to include copies of the original documents instead of the original ones.
  4. Send the letter and documents through certified mail. Send your letter and supporting documents to each reporting agency. Make sure to request a “return receipt requested” service. This way you can keep track of what the credit reporting agency received. The following are the addresses for each agency:
    • Experian, P.O. Box 2002, Allen, TX 75013
    • TransUnion, Baldwin Place, P.O. Box 2000, Chester, PA 19022
    • Equifax Information Services, LLC, P.O. Box 740256, Atlanta, GA 30374
  5. Wait for a response. Credit reporting agencies must investigate your case within 30 days. If verification shows that the error on your report was valid, then they must remove it and update your information. The agency will send you a letter in writing with the results, and free copy of an updated report if changes were made to it.
    • If the agency cannot verify the information’s accuracy on your report, then they will remove it.
  6. Negotiate with your creditors. If the disputed information ends up being accurate, then you may be able to negotiate a deal with your creditors. Offer to pay off the debt in full in exchange for removing the late payment from your account. The creditor may even settle for a partial payment of your debt in exchange for removal.
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