Late payments can be a big deal, they count significantly toward your credit score calculation.
And unfortunately, late payments can stay on your credit report for 7 years.
However, in my experience, it’s really not that difficult to get late payments removed.
How Long Do Late Payments Stay On Your Credit Report?
Late payments can stay on your credit report for seven years. This will not only have an effect on your ability to get loans but will also affect the interest rates you do get.
Therefore, I recommend you take steps to get missed payments off your credit report.
I strongly recommend monitoring your credit report to see right when items are removed and so you can keep track of your progress. Experian offers free access to your credit report on a monthly basis with free credit report monitoring too.
Can I Remove Late Payments From My Credit Report?
Here are 3 proven ways to remove late payments from a credit report:
- Request a “Goodwill Adjustment” from the Creditor
- Negotiate to Remove a Late Payment by Signing Up for Auto-Pay
- Dispute the Late Payment Entry on Your Credit Report as Inaccurate
1. Request a “Goodwill Adjustment” from the Original Creditor
The idea is simple and it works incredibly well.
Many times creditors are happy to grant “goodwill adjustments” if your previous payment history is relatively good and you have established a good relationship with the creditor.
This is probably the easiest and surest way to get a late payment removed from your credit report.
The process involves writing the creditor a letter explaining your situation (why you were late) and asking that they “forgive” the late payment and adjust your credit report accordingly.
The easiest way to write a goodwill/forgiveness letter is to use the sample letter I created as a template. This method might not work if you have multiple late payments.
2. Negotiate Removal by Offering to Sign Up for Automatic Payments
I have never actually tried this method myself, but from what I understand creditors frequently offer to remove late payment entries if you, in exchange, agree to sign up for automatic payments.
This strategy works out well for both parties: the creditor can ensure future payments will be made on time, and you don’t have to ever worry about missing another payment.
I would love to hear from those of you who have succeeded with this method!
Update: Several readers have verified that this method did work for them, so try this next if a goodwill letter doesn’t work.
3. Dispute the Late Payment as Inaccurate
I certainly do not advocate lying or claiming an entry is inaccurate when you know that it’s not. BUT, if you find ANY inaccuracies on the late payment entry (dates, amounts, etc), you can dispute the late payment as inaccurate.
Sometimes creditors have a difficult time verifying the exact details of your account history.
Therefore, if you dispute the late payment and they are unable (or simply don’t bother) to verify it, the negative entry will be removed.
This is also a great technique on how to remove collections from a credit report.
Bonus Strategy: Have A Professional Remove The Late Payments
We understand that credit repair can be overwhelming. If you’re the type of person who would rather have a professional handle it and just be done with the whole thing, I suggest you check out Lexington Law Credit Repair.
They’ll take care of you, and honestly, they usually get stuff removed a lot quicker than you could on your own.