Now that you are interested in repairing your credit, you may have heard the term “Goodwill Letter” being used. Most of us know once there is a negative mark on your credit, it is there to stay! But in recent years the good news is, a Goodwill Letter tactic has been used to remove those negative remarks. But what is it??
A Goodwill Letter is a letter written by the consumer to the creditor or lender, requesting that a late mark or derogatory information be removed or “adjusted” from your credit report. If the account is in good standing and someone misses a payment due to an emergency or some other unforeseen circumstance, you may be able to get a creditor to remove the late payment or other negative information from your credit report at the three credit bureaus.
With your payment history making up 35% of your score, a Goodwill Letter, requesting your late payment(s) or collection account to be removed, maybe the tactic you need to get your score back to where it belongs. If you do not want to hire a credit repair company to help you with this then you can certainly do it on your own with very little cost.
Do Goodwill Letters Work With Creditors in 2020?
The short answer is yes. Goodwill Letters still work in 2020. A Goodwill Letter can be a way for you to remove derogatory remarks from your credit score like a late payment. I would only recommend you writing a Goodwill Letter if the account is current and being paid on time. Goodwill letters tend not to work for people with habitual late payments or a messy credit file.
The point of the Goodwill Letter is to ask the creditor to have some understanding of the special circumstances around your derogatory history or late payment. If your credit file is full of late payments or they have had a difficult time collecting from you then I would not waste my time trying to get those removed.
If you do have the right circumstances surrounding your late payment or closed account than a Goodwill Letter can be a great tool for getting a late payment or closed account removed but you will have to be persistent and polite in your correspondence.
What Is A Goodwill Adjustment?
A Goodwill Adjustment is when the creditor removes the negative remark on your credit report. It is called an adjustment because the information is correct and asking them to correct your account history would be inaccurate. They are in fact, adjusting your payment history to accommodate your request as a “goodwill” measure.
How Do You Write A Goodwill Letter?
The first thing you need to remember in writing a Goodwill Letter is that you must always remain polite and respectful in your correspondence. You are coming them and basically asking them to do you a favor. It is completely up to them to grant your request so going into the situation with an indignant or rude attitude will get you nowhere fast.
- Explain your situation that caused the late payment(s). Be sure not to make excuses or blame others.
- Make sure you let them know you have rectified the situation and you do not see it happening in the future. Point out that before the incident and after the incident you have not had any further incidences.
- Keep the letter short and concise. You do not want to go on at length about drama in your life that caused the situation. You just want to explain briefly what caused the issue.
- Let them know why you are requesting the removal. If you are purchasing a home or car, let them know that the derogatory credit is keeping you from obtaining credit.
- Let them know this will save you money and help you to obtain the financing you need. Be sure to thank them in advance for helping you.
Here Is A Sample Goodwill Letter
RE: Account #
Creditor Name and Address
Dear XYZ Bank,
I am writing to you concerning account #123456 and the payment that was made in January 2020 that was reported as 30 days late.
Unfortunately, when I was moving out of state to care for my ill mother, I inadvertently missed a payment. Once I realized my mistake, I immediately paid the account and brought it current. I have continued to make on-time payments ever since and I do not see this happening again in the future.
This, of course, triggered a 30-day late payment for my account and is being reported to both Equifax and TransUnion. I am writing to you today to request a Goodwill Adjustment for the late payment and remove it from the reporting bureaus mentioned above.
I am in the process of purchasing a home and the late payment being reported will significantly increase my interest rate for the loan. By granting my request you may be able to help me save thousands of dollars over the life of the mortgage.
Thank you in advance for your consideration and assistance in this matter.
Your Signature Name Address and phone number
I recommend you personalize your letter. This will show the situation is authentic rather than a form letter they have seen over and over sent from credit repair companies.
Where Do I Get The Address To Send My Goodwill Letter?
If you plan to use this tactic, then you will need to send more than one letter. First, I would call your creditor and ask for customer service to help you determine which address would be the best place to correspond with the creditor about your Goodwill Letter.
I would start the conversation like this once you get to a live person.
“Hi, I am not even sure if I am calling the right department. I wanted to see about getting a Goodwill Adjustment on an account I had with you in 2015. I was hoping to get both a physical and email address as to where I can send a Goodwill request to Capital One. Or if there is any way you can help me that would be great too!”
This is probably the fastest and most accurate way to get an address for this specific issue.
Since you have someone on the phone, I would attempt to get them to help you as well as an email address if possible so there is an easy way for someone to respond. Just remember this is unlikely to happen. Creditors and large corporations do not want their employees to email with customers. The chances are the customer service rep will tell you that you have to write them via US Mail. But it is worth a shot and never hurts to ask.
I always recommend that you also get the address directly from your credit report as most creditors keep that up to date. I would also look at the creditor’s website to see if there is an address there that you can use. You may want to send more than one letter to different departments to save time.
Look under the contact page for specific contact information depending on the type of credit or situation. Here is an example from Capital One’s contact page. I would send my letter to the General Correspondence address AND the disputing a credit card change.
Contact us by U.S. Mail
Find the right address to mail Capital One about the following issues:
- Mailing a credit card payment
- General correspondence
- Investigating a misapplied payment
- Disputing a credit card change
- Reporting suspected credit card fraud
All I did was google, Capital One Goodwill Letter to get the address. You can do this with all of your creditors.
I would also recommend that you put on the envelope “Goodwill Request” and Credit Card Services or Auto Loan Services. You want to make it specific to your situation.
Your envelope will look something like this:
Attn: General Correspondence Credit Card Services
P.O. Box 30285
Salt Lake City, UT 84130-0287
How Long Will A Goodwill Letter Take To Work?
It may take several attempts before you receive a response to a request for a goodwill removal. You must be prepared to send letters more than once every 30 days. This process is not for the faint of heart!
Many people will hire a credit repair company that includes Goodwill Letters in their services. They do this every single day and know the correct addresses and verbiage to send and get your request approved.