How to Remove Late Payments from Your Credit Report
April 4, 2019
Late payments can happen to anyone. While Americans average less than one late payment per credit report, a late payment can make a difference to your credit score. Luckily, there are several ways to remove the negative items from your credit reports. In this article, we’re going to discuss a few different methods that you can try to help you remove late payments.
When Are Late Payments Reported?
Creditors usually report late payments to the credit reporting agencies once you've been 30 days late or more on an account. How low your credit score goes because of a late payment depends on how late the payment is and how high your credit score is. Another thing that you should note is that late payments can stay on your credit report for up to seven years. That’s seven years that you might find that you have trouble getting new credit or face higher interest rates. However, there are things that you can do to remove negative late payments from your credit report.
How Late Payments Affect Your Credit Score
One late payment can lower a 780 credit score by 90 to 110 points, and a 680 credit score by 60-80 points. Missing multiple payments in one month has a greater impact on your credit score.
A payment that is late by a few days or a few hours late isn’t a huge deal and won’t be reported. However, once the 30-day mark hits, the late payment is published and your credit usually reflects it. Late payments can stay on your credit report for seven years and negatively impact your credit score as long as they remain.
How to Remove Late Payments From Your Credit Report
There are different ways to go about trying to remove late payments from your credit report. You can dispute late payments with the credit bureaus. Another option is disputing a late payment directly with your creditor.
Send a Goodwill Adjustment Letter
This is a straightforward way to get a late payment removed from your credit report. In some cases, creditors are willing to make a goodwill adjustment if your payment history has been good or if you have a good relationship with them.
The process includes writing a letter to the creditor explaining why you paid late. You ask for forgiveness of the late payment and assure them it won't happen again. If you have a long relationship with the creditor and have a history of on-time payments, they may be willing to forgive the late payment. If they agree to forgive the late payment, they adjust your credit report accordingly.
Creditors don't always do this, but it doesn't hurt to try. If you've never been late making a payment, then the creditor may be more forgiving. However, they are less likely to make goodwill adjustments for frequent late payments
File a credit dispute
If you find any errors when you review your credit report, you can file a dispute with the credit bureau that generated the report. You can also dispute the mistake with the creditor.
If you dispute an inaccurate late payment, the creditor or credit bureau has 30 days after receiving your dispute to investigate the claim. When the creditor or credit bureau has finished the investigation, you should be notified of the results. One thing to note is that if you dispute with the credit bureaus, you have to dispute with them separately.
If the creditor has proof that the information they are reporting is correct, it can stay on your credit report. However, if the creditor agrees that the information is incorrect, the creditor must tell all of the credit bureaus to remove or edit the information from your credit report.
To make this process easier, credit repair organizations like Lexington Law Firm work with you to challenge inaccuracies on your credit report. Our team of attorneys and paralegals leverage your rights so that your credit reports are fair and accurate.
Hire a Professional
If you would rather have a professional help you handle late payments, you may want to consider professional credit repair services like Lexington Law Firm. We create an individualized credit repair plan for each client and can send goodwill adjustment letters on your behalf.
Our knowledgeable team of paralegals and attorneys have over a decade of experience challenging inaccurate, unfair, and unverifiable negative information on credit reports that has resulted in millions of removals for many clients. For more information on how our services work, contact us today for a free personalized credit consultation.