If you have late payments on your credit report, you may be wondering how to get rid of them. Here are a few tips on how to delete late payments from your credit report.
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Check your credit report
If you have negative items on your credit report, you’re not alone. According to a report from the Federal Reserve Board, 26% of consumers have a delinquent account on their credit report.
While having late payments in your history will lower your credit score and can make it difficult to qualify for new credit, there is some good news. Late payments generally fall off your credit report after seven years. And, there are steps you can take to remove late payments even sooner.
If you’re not sure whether or not you have late payments on your credit report, you can check by requesting a free copy of your report from each of the three major credit reporting agencies: Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. You’re entitled to one free copy of your report from each agency every 12 months. You can request your reports online at AnnualCreditReport.com or by calling 877-322-8228.
Once you have your reports in hand, review them carefully to identify any late payments that may be reported. If you find any errors, you’ll need to dispute them with the credit reporting agency. You can do this online, by mail, or by phone. Be sure to include any documentation that supports your dispute (e.g., payment records).
If the late payment is accurate but is older than seven years, you can try reaching out to the creditor and asking them to remove it from your report as a goodwill gesture. In some cases, they may agree to do so if you have been a good customer overall and if the late payment was an isolated incident.
Keep in mind that even if the late payment is removed from your report, it will still affect your credit score for the period of time it is reported. However, over time, as other positive information (e.g., on-time payments) begins to outweigh the negative item, its impact will lessen and eventually go away entirely.
Find the late payments
The first step is to find the late payments on your credit report. You are entitled to one free credit report from each of the three major credit reporting bureaus—Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion—every 12 months. You can get your reports for free at AnnualCreditReport.com. Review each report carefully to find any late payments.
If you find late payments, take note of the date of the late payment, the amount of the late payment, and the name of the creditor. You will need this information when you dispute the late payments with the credit bureaus.
Request a goodwill deletion
If you have a single late payment that’s over six months old, you can request a goodwill deletion from your creditor. To do this, you’ll need to send a formal letter to your creditor explaining what happened and why you’re requesting the delete. If your creditor agrees to delete the late payment, they’ll send you confirmation in writing.
Wait for the late payments to be removed
The late payments will eventually be removed from your credit report. The length of time they stay on your report depends on the severity of the late payments.
For example, if you only made a late payment by a few days, it will have a less negative impact on your credit score and will be removed from your report after seven years. But if you made multiple late payments or your payments were 60 or more days late, those late payments can stay on your report for up to 10 years.
If you havelate payments that are negatively impacting your credit score, you may want to wait until they’re removed from your credit report before applying for new credit.