Receiving one or more late payments on your credit report will impact your credit score. With a lower score, it’s harder to take out new credit cards, get a loan approved or keep your interest rates as low as they currently are for any lending.
There are various valid ways to get a late payment removed from a credit report. In this article, we run through a few of them for your consideration.
A goodwill letter sent to a creditor can request that they remove the late payment from your credit report. This is used in situations where you’re asking for a kindness; not in situations where there’s a mistaken late payment listed on your report.
Such a letter is usually written when you have gone through a life difficulty such as a bereavement or a job loss which is now in your past. Accounts should be back in good standing at the time of sending the letter. This type of correspondence is asking that the creditor considers your personal circumstance and should use courteous language to try to get a positive outcome.
It sometimes happens that a payment was made on time but shows up subsequently in your credit report as if it was paid late.
When you have proof that it was received by the creditor on time, then you can use this as evidence to ask them to remove the late payment notice on your report. When sending a letter, dispatch it using certified mail, so that you have a record of sending it.
Whilst it’s more difficult to persuade them should you already have more than one late payment on the report already, it’s still a perfectly valid request to remove the one that’s incorrect. Also, it may help your credit score in the future, so it’s worth taking the time to do so.
When a late payment note on your report has some details incorrectly stated but it’s still true that the payment arrived late, then it can be disputed. This is based on the Fair Credit Reporting Act, which permits this action to be taken by consumers.
Sometimes, a late payment may have details misspelt or the date is not correct. Any incorrect information may be disputed in a letter to the various credit rating agencies. They will then need to conduct a review within 30 days, contact the creditor, and inform you of their determination. If they agree that mistakes have been made, you can request that the late payment entry be removed due to it being invalid. It’s up to the individual credit agency whether they believe the incorrect record should be removed entirely or not. File this under ‘it doesn’t hurt to try’.
There’s also the possibility that you can enter into a negotiation with a creditor over a late payment. For instance, should a substantial balance be outstanding, offering to clear a significant portion of it in exchange for a reconsideration of the late payment notice sitting on your credit report is another approach that sometimes works.