Send a goodwill letter to your credit card issuer or lender to get negative items removed from your credit reports. A goodwill letter can be written requesting a deletion of one or several late payments.
One late payment can result in credit scores decreasing by as much as 100 points. Read “How Late Payments Affect Credit Scores” for more information.
Some creditors will delete late payment notations if you have been a good customer for several years and are not typically late paying. In this instance you usually do not have to have a particular reason for being late; you may have just overlooked that payment.
A creditor may also remove a late payment if you can show a hardship or other good reason for being late. The hardship could be illness or loss of job; basically something major that temporarily affected your ability to pay on time.
There is no guarantee a goodwill letter will result in the removal of a late payment but it is well worth trying.
A goodwill letter should always be sent to a company executive, such as the CEO, Vice President or Director, this can often lead to a positive outcome. You may have to do a little research to find the names and addresses of officers of the company. A good resource may be Hoovers.com. Always send the letter certified return receipt.
The below sample should give you an idea of what direction to take with your goodwill letter.
Your City, State Zip
Creditor’s City, State & Zip Code
Re: Account Number
Dear (Name of Executive):
I have been a good customer with your company since (year). I enjoy doing business with your company and have been pleased over the years. I am writing to request a “goodwill” adjustment be made to the above-mentioned account with the three major credit reporting agencies.
Although I made a late payment(s) on (date), I have an excellent payment history otherwise. My monthly payments are always on time. Please consider removing the negative payment reported by your company from my credit reports. The late payment was a temporary oversight and it has not occurred since that time. The late payments I am requesting deleted and/or removed occurred on (date).
These late payments do not reflect my overall good payment history with your company and I would like them removed. I experienced a temporary loss of income due to (whatever). Again, I really enjoy doing business with your company and hope to continue a satisfying relationship in the future. Please take into consideration my loyalty to your company and work with me to remove these negative marks from my credit reports.
I look forward to hearing from you soon.