How do you get late payments removed fast? We have all had it happen to us. There was an emergency, lack of funds or you just simply forgot to make a payment on a bill. 30 days later you see that your credit score dropped. A recent late payment can drop your credit score, on average, 80-100 points!
There are a few ways to get a late payment removed from your credit report fast. The easiest way is to call and explain to the lender the situation and ask for the late payment to be removed. You can offer something in return like setting up auto-pay. The other is to craft a Goodwill Letter asking for the late payment to be removed but this can take more time. You can also look for inaccuracies in the lender’s report and then request the late payment be removed.
We will show you the different ways to accomplish removing late payments with this DIY guide. If you feel overwhelmed by the process then hiring a credit repair company, like Credit Saint, maybe an easier choice.
How Late Payments Affect Your Credit
If you have ever had a late payment hit your credit report then you know it has an immediate negative effect on your credit score. Payment history is calculated at 35% of your 5 factors that affect your credit score. Once you have a late payment it will remain on your credit report for seven years. You score will start to rise again over time but the immediate hit to your score can be devastating.
This can affect your ability to qualify for new credit once the late payment is recorded. New creditors who look at your payment history will have guidelines they follow and not having any late payments may be one of them within a certain time frame may be one of them.
Here is an example:
My customer has a 700 credit score BUT he as a 30 day late from 6 months earlier. Even though his credit score is high enough to get a loan the guidelines state that there can be no late payments for 24 months in order to qualify.
This can be a real problem. Most people think it is only their credit score that determines credibility. Creditor guidelines may also have specific requirements in addition to the credit score to qualify.
How To Get Late Payments Removed Fast
I stressed “fast” because most of the ways you get a late payment removed can take time. Writing letters and waiting for responses can take weeks if not months if you do not reach the right person or make an excellent case for your situation.
Calling the lender may be your best initial option when you are trying to remove a late payment fast. And just don’t take the first answer you get if it is negative. Call more than once if you do not get the answer you want.
- Always be polite. Going in demanding a late payment be removed is never going to work,
- Document your conversation. It is important to know who you are speaking with when you call your creditor.
- Ask for help. If the person you are not speaking with can help you, ask them who can? Often your average customer service agent is not empowered to make decisions on credit reporting requests. Ask them to tell you who the best person is to help you and how do you reach out.
5 Reasons A Creditor Might Remove A Late Payment
Calling the creditor directly will be the fastest way to get something removed. There are certain situations that they look favorably upon when agreeing to remove your late payment.
- It is not your fault – If the late payment was not your fault such as a banking error, they may agree to remove the late payment.
- Natural Disasters – Often lenders will make adjustments for people who have just gone through natural disasters if you live in an area that was declared a state of emergency.
- Illnesses – If you were in a car accident or had a medical emergency, the creditor may be willing to remove the late payment.
- Excellent payment history – If you have a long and excellent payment history with the creditor, they may be willing to help.
- Offer to set up auto-pay – Offer something in exchange for the late payment to be removed like setting up automatic payments or even paying off the balance.
Having your facts, documentation and attitude in line is the key to getting a late payment removed when calling a creditor. I recommend that you call at least three times when trying to get the late payment removed.
When Calling The Creditor Did Not Work
Often times, it is difficult to reach the person who has the power to remove your late payment. If you have followed all of the steps above your next plan of action is to start writing letters.
A Goodwill Letter is one of the best ways to get a late payment removed. It is an easy process. You will just write a letter explaining why the payment was late following the same guidelines as above.
There are some best practices when writing a Goodwill Letter. You can read our full tutorial about Goodwill Letters if you want to go this route.
- Send copies of documentation over originals.
- Send your letters certified mail so you have it date stamped and proof of when you requested the removal.
- Call the creditor to verify you are sending the Goodwill Letter to the correct person, department and address. Keep in mind you may not get the name of an actual person. But we feel it does not hurt to ask.
What If You Do Not Have A Good Credit History With The Lender?
Goodwill letters and phone calls to the creditor usually only work in special circumstances and when you have an otherwise good history with the creditor. If you still owe them money, have several late payments or if the account is charged-off calling and just requesting the removal will probably not work.
There are a couple of different options you can look at in this situation.
1. Pay to delete.
When a creditor is still owed money, their only goal for them is to collect on the debt. You may be able to negotiate a settlement if you are willing to pay some of, if not all, of the debt off. Letters are not always the best way to go in this situation. You will want to call their collections department and negotiate over the phone. Here are some key points when engaging a creditor.
- Always be polite.
- Explain your circumstances – job loss, divorce, etc.
- When negotiating, start low. I always started at a 25% offer and we usually landed on 50% of the debt. What they can do will depend on the age and amount of the debt. You can always come up. Never offer to pay the whole thing upfront unless you want to because you owe it and you feel an obligation to do so.
- Get everything in writing BEFORE you pay. This is especially important with 3rd party collection agencies. Because I was working on behalf of the creditor I could get it in writing. Sometimes they will not do it for the consumer but it is important to try.
- Get a written receipt. Once you have paid you will also want to get what you agreed to in writing and that your debt is paid. This way if it pops up with another collection agency you have something to show the debt was paid and agreed to be deleted. Sometimes old debts can be resold to another collection agency, even though they were paid.
2. Dispute Any Inaccuracies
One tactic used is to flood the three credit reporting bureaus with letters disputing your negative credit. Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), you have the right to dispute inaccuracies. In the past, the credit reporting bureaus may have removed the “errors” without actually doing an investigation.
Frankly, this tactic does not work as well as it used to, and for good reason. The credit reporting bureaus have a responsibility to provide accurate information to future creditors. If you have defaulted on your debt, creditors need to know this information to be able to make an informed decision and prevent losses.
Even if there are inaccuracies, the debt may be removed for 30 days but the creditor has the right to report the debt again as long as it has corrected any erroneous information. So it can be a total waste of time.
Removing information does not always benefit you. If you made 24 payments on time and only missed a couple of payments, removing this account can actually damage your score.
Requesting that a creditor remove late payments is something that may be worth your time and effort in doing. The bottom line is that it never hurts to ask and if you get someone on a good day they may be willing to work with you.
If you feel overwhelmed by the process, or if you have already tried everything in this article I have laid out for you then you may want to consider hiring a credit repair company to assist you. Getting a third party involved can be an effective tool in repairing your credit.
Pin it for later!