Life has many ups and downs, and nobody is perfectly on time for everything. For instance, a traffic jam could make you ten minutes late, or a blackout could occur while you’re sleeping, resetting your alarm clock. These events are unforeseen and can affect anyone down the line.
A late payment on a line of credit, whether it be a credit card or a car loan, can be detrimental to one’s credit score and history. A single late payment to an otherwise good credit score is like a rock through your window. Even with perfect credit history, a single late payment can drop your score up to 80 points! Sometimes that can be even worse than a collection in your credit history.
Luckily, there are ways to deal with late payments on your credit history through several methods.
Check Your Credit History with a Report
Even if you feel that you have made zero mistakes, made every payment on time, and paid off every debt, some strange and inaccurate information may still appear on your credit report. This includes any late or missed payments. It is always a good idea to check your credit history by getting a credit report from all three credit bureaus. There are many premium credit monitoring websites online that can provide you with a credit report, but the credit bureaus provide free credit reports as well.
Simply asking may be the best method in getting rid of that smudge on your otherwise perfect credit history. Despite the monolithic appearance these credit card companies have, they do have real people working within them. People will understand if you were subject to extenuating circumstances and might show a bit of mercy to those who may be delinquent in their payments.
If you have a good history with the credit card company, bank, or lender, you can easily ask them to remove the late payment. This is usually referred to as a Goodwill Adjustment Letter. By contacting the lender either through phone or mail, they may be willing to send you a letter saying that they will remove the late payment.
However, be aware that you will need to keep the letter, copy it, and send it over to the three credit bureaus (Transunion, Experian, and Equifax). The creditor may remove the late payment on their end, but it’s also important to make sure the bureaus reflect this change when they create a credit report.
By contacting both the bureaus and the creditor, you may be able to remove the late payment.
Pay to Delete Late Payments
Oftentimes, people may not be very cozy with their lender or creditor. If you have bad payment history or have a delinquent reputation, you may still be able to negotiate a way to delete the late payment off of your credit history instead.
The best way to gain some leverage in the negotiation process is to say that you can pay off the debt in full. However this will require the funds to do this, and not everyone has that ability. Another way is to say that you’ll put yourself on auto-pay to prevent future late payments.
Either way, negotiation between you and the creditor should be done over the phone for best results. Like before, if you can get the deletion letter, be sure to keep it, copy it, and send it over to the credit bureaus.
Sometimes it may be best to go around the creditors and go straight to bureaus and have them remove your late payments off your credit report. According to the Fair Credit and Reporting Act (FCRA), you are allowed and entitled to dispute any inaccurate information that has been reported to the credit bureaus: “the consumer is encouraged to verify the accuracy of information… and has the right to dispute any inaccurate information in the report.”
Sometimes late payments on your credit report may be the result of inaccurate information or even outright lies. In these instances it is required that you dispute these false statements.
This can be done in a variety of ways. One method that’s tried and true is to send a physical letter to the credit bureaus. Another is to file a direct dispute on the credit bureaus’ websites. Each bureau has a method you can find online to dispute any inaccuracies that may occur on your credit report.
Every person around the world has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic in the last two years. In 2020, the United States government passed the CARES act, which includes a lot of assistance to those in need.
According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the CARES act states that credit bureaus must “accommodate” consumers with their credit history. During these tough times, not everyone can pay off their credit cards in a timely manner due to stress, financial instability, or disastrous events in their personal lives. When disputing directly with the credit bureaus, it might be helpful to state how the pandemic has affected you both emotionally and financially.
Seeking Professional Help
When it comes to removing any sort of derogatory information on your credit report, there are no guarantees. Even after doing everything right and exhausting all methods, the credit bureaus, creditors, and lenders may not budge on their stance when it comes to late payments. After all, they may have no reason to remove the late payments at all, forgoing any sort of mercy upon their customers.
Credit repair companies such as Fix Your Credit Consulting may help you when it comes to disputing these late payments. We can dispute these claims on your behalf to spare you the headache and stress of dealing with faceless corporations. Call us at (877) 212-2450 for a free consultation and our professional consultants will help you get on the right track to repairing your credit.
If you have any questions, feel free to give us a call at 877-212-2450!
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