If you have late payments on your credit report, you may be wondering how to get them removed. Late payments can stay on your report for up to seven years, and can negatively impact your credit score.
Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to try to get late payments removed from your credit report. First, you can dispute the late payments with the credit bureau. If the late payments are accurate, you can try negotiating with your creditors to have them removed.
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Check for errors
The first step is to check your credit report for errors. If you see a late payment that you know you made on time, or a payment that you don’t recognize, dispute the error with the credit bureau.
If the late payment is accurate, but you have a good reason for why it happened, you can try to get the late payment removed by writing a “goodwill letter” to the creditor. In the letter, explain your situation and why you believe the late payment should be removed. Request that they remove the late payment in exchange for your continued business.
Some creditors may be willing to remove late payments if you agree to set up automatic payments or some other arrangement to ensure that your payments are made on time in the future.
Send a “goodwill” letter
If you have a history of on-time payments, but one or two late payments are bringing down your credit score, you can often get late payments removed by sending what’s called a “goodwill letter.”
A goodwill letter is simply a letter to the creditor or collection agency asking them to remove the late payment because you have a history of making payments on time.
Here’s a sample goodwill letter from Credit Karma:
Dear [Name of Creditor],
I am writing to request that you remove the late payment on my account from [date]. I have been a customer in good standing for many years and it was an isolated incident that caused me to be late. I wouldlike to maintain my good standing with you and would appreciate your removal of the late payment. I look forward to continuing our relationship.
Thank you for your time and consideration.
Dispute the late payments
The first step is to dispute the late payments with the credit bureau. This can be done online, by mail, or over the phone. Include any supporting documentation, such as proof of payment, with your dispute.
If the credit bureau finds that the late payments are accurate, they will send you a letter confirming this. At this point, you can either accept the decision or file an appeal with the credit bureau.
If you do not agree with the credit bureau’s decision, you can file an appeal by mail or online. Include any new evidence that you have that was not included in your original dispute. The credit bureau will review your case and make a final decision.
Negotiate with your creditors
The first step is to reach out to your creditor and explain your financial situation. If you’ve been through a hardship like job loss or medical bills, be sure to mention that. It’s important to be honest and upfront about your situation so your creditor knows you’re serious about making things right.
Once you’ve explained your situation, ask if the creditor would be willing to delete the late payment from your account in exchange for you paying the past-due balance. If the creditor agrees, get it in writing before you make any payments. This way, you have documentation of the agreement in case there are any issues later on.
If your creditor doesn’t want to delete the late payment, try asking if they’ll agree to lower your interest rate or waive any late fees. This can help reduce the amount you owe and make it easier to get caught up on your payments. Again, get any agreements in writing before you make any payments.
Once you’ve reached an agreement with your creditor, make sure you follow through on your end of the deal. Pay off the balance as quickly as possible and keep up with all future payments. If you do this, chances are good that the late payment will eventually fall off your credit report on its own accord