What is a Goodwill Letter?

Clean credit should be your paramount goal after experiencing a period of financial trouble. When late payments and overdue account citations have peppered your credit report, it’s difficult to get back on track. Responsible spending will take you a long way, and the help of a goodwill letter can do wonders. If you have been working toward clean credit, it may be time to address past blunders by contacting your creditors and simply asking them to remove negative citations from your credit report. A goodwill letter can help you do just that. Your success depends on the policies and willingness of your creditor, and can include factors such as:

  • The age of your account. Creditors are more likely to help long-term clients, especially if you have had a good relationship in the past.
  • The severity of your delinquency. Creditors may be hesitant to grant a goodwill removal if your account went 90 days late or more. On the other hand, a 30 or 60 day late may be negotiable.
  • Your recent actions. Creditors want to help you, but they need assurances that you take account matters seriously. If your delinquency was a one-time occurrence some time ago, you may have better luck. However, if your past mistakes tend to repeat themselves, creditors aren’t likely to accept your request.
  • Recurrent requests. Seeking clean credit solutions is admirable, but how many times have you attempted it? If you have requested goodwill considerations in the past, creditors will wonder why they should help you again. One goodwill request can carry a lot of weight, but one in a string of many may lose its effectiveness.

So, what exactly should you include in a goodwill letter? Here are a few points that may assist your efforts to restore your record of clean credit:

  • Reference your longstanding relationship as a customer.
  • Mention that you intend to maintain that relationship in good standing for years to come (if applicable).
  • Discuss the minor infraction as an anomaly within a larger record of clean credit, and mention its potential wide-ranging negative impacts regarding your credit standing.
  • Express your regret and your intention to never repeat the error.
  • State clearly your request for line item revision on your credit reports as a one-time gesture of goodwill.

The path to clean credit is uncertain, but drafting a goodwill letter can help you exhaust every option. Write your creditor to inquire about your options.