Virtually everything depends on credit. Most companies today check credit on everything from obtaining a home loan to purchasing an automobile, renting an apartment, and getting insurance to determine deposits, interest rates, and payments. Most people have an average or fair credit score, but there are many things that affect this rating. Late payments are one of the most common causes of lower credit scores. When payments are late on a loan or a credit card, late fees are assessed and credit scores can dip.
Can a Negative Mark be Removed?
One way of removing late payments from a credit report is to write a goodwill letter. This does not always work, but it is worth a try. What is a goodwill letter? It is a letter asking a creditor to take into consideration that many times people make mistakes. The letter tells the creditor politely that the person is sorry for the missed or late payment. Including the reason for the late payment if it is legitimate, such as the temporary loss of a job, is a good idea.
Removing a negative mark from credit by writing a letter will depend on several things. The amount of time the account was late is one. It is more likely to be removed if a payment is only late for a period of 30 to 60 days rather than 90 days or more. The creditor will also look at how long the account has been open and how many times a late payment has occurred. Being late once or twice is far better than having a history of late payments.
The possibility of having a late payment removed will also depend on how willing the creditor is to work with the account holder. If he or she shows that until the late payment, they had a good payment history, it is far more likely the request will be granted.
Write a Courteous and Straightforward Letter
The letter should be polite and apologetic. Admitting that a mistake was made and that it will not happen again is a strategy that often has good results. Thank the company for the service they have provided. If a good credit rating is needed for a particular reason, you can include this in the letter. One reason could be applying for a home loan. Make sure and express your readiness to answer any questions they may have.
Sample Goodwill Deletion Request Letter
April 4, 20xx
12345 Maple St.
Anywhere, USA 12345
1234 Oak St.
Anywhere, USA 12345
Dear Mr., Ms, or Mrs. Jones, CEO:
I am writing concerning a credit rating I received with your company. I have been a customer since (date) and have maintained a perfect payment record during that time. Regrettably, on (date of late payment), I was laid off due to the company closing. I am the the sole provider for my family and was unemployed for more than a month before finding another position. My savings was quickly depleted by living expenses. Therefore, a late payment on my account with (company name) was incurred.
Although I was only out of work for a little over a month, I learned from this experience. My financial planning was lacking, and I have corrected this mistake. Since this time, (date payments began to be made on time again) I have made all payments by the due date and will continue to do so.
I am contacting you to request a “goodwill” adjustment to reports sent to the credit bureaus. I have only (x) payments that have been late dating back to (date of last late payment). My payments since that date have been made on time every month. I have demonstrated that I am a responsible customer and would be appreciative if you would consider taking the late payments off of my credit report.
As I have explained the late payment were due to financial problems because of (the loss of my job). This letter is not an excuse for why the payments were late. It is to demonstrate that the late payments are not indicative of my overall credit history. It is my wish that (name of the company) can remove these late payments from my credit reports.
In response to inquiries made to the credit bureaus, they informed me that the late payments can be removed at your request. They would need the request in writing. Customer service at your company (company name) recommended writing to you and asking for this adjustment. I have been a good customer with (company name) for (x) years. I ask that you give me the opportunity to prove that this was an isolated incident and remove these late payments from my credit report.
Please contact me if you need any additional information. Thank you for your consideration and time.
By Andre Bradley