Late payments on any loan or credit card can have an intense financial impact beyond incurring late fees at higher rates. Making payments 30 days past can throw your credit score off track and make it difficult for you to qualify for future credits at desired rates.
But late payments are quite commonplace and may affect anyone. Still worse, they are sometimes inaccurately recorded. Fortunately, there are several means of removing an inaccurate late payment.
How Do You Get An Inaccurate Late Payment Removed?
Regularly reviewing the credit reports can help you locate when something is amiss, including a late payment reported erroneously.
Generally, late payments are associated with an individual’s credit account. Based on the bureau that makes your credit report, it can be enlisted with a code or a symbol or mentioned in words. And the structure of your credit bureau will also determine how late you have been in making the payment.
Since all credit reports are different, you must review them from all the major consumer credit authorities. Did you notice an inaccurate late payment in your credit report? With the right knowledge, you can have that late payment removed so it won’t negatively impact your score.
Here are the steps for Removing an Inaccurate Late Payment:
1. Find Out If There Are Erroneous Or Old Late Payments:
When you spot late payments with any of your accounts, you must review them very carefully. There are several possibilities that it is recorded inaccurately.
In such a scenario, you will have to work to remove an inaccurate late payment. Here are some of the cases that can happen to you:
The payment was made on time, but it was recorded late:
It could be a mistake when you spot a late payment but are sure you have paid it on time. In such a situation, you must convince your creditor that you have paid the bills on time. This can be done by going through the bank account statements you have used to pay the bill. Also, check whether you have received any confirmation of payment.
The late payment is very old:
If you have been late by 30 days, it went to 60 days and so on, with one late payment leading to another. While one can have an immense harmful effect on your credit report, real delinquency is the one that started it all. This implies that the whole trajectory will likely disappear within seven years calculated from the first date of late payment.
2. Dispute The Mistake
- When you spot an incorrect or very old late payment in your credit report, you must dispute the error with the credit authority that has shared this piece of information with the credit card issuing authority, collection agency, and lender.
- In case of filing the erroneous late payment with the creditor, the latter will investigate the issue within 30 days. If your creditor doesn’t agree with your claim and reports that there has been an instance of late payment, it will not update the information.
- Removing an inaccurate late payment will require the creditor to acknowledge the fact and report the same to the credit bureau.
- It is the responsibility of the credit bureau to send this correct information to all concerned authorities so that they may also update their records.
- If you choose to dispute the error with the credit bureau directly, you must file the same with each bureau possessing your credit report that contains the wrong information.
What To Do If The Late Payment Is Not A Mistake?
As mentioned, sometimes, we fail to keep up with our payments. If this is the case with you, your chances of removing an inaccurate late payment are slim.
According to financial experts, when information about late payment is true and accurately reported by the creditor, there is no chance of the reporting agency deleting it from the credit report.
In such a condition, a goodwill letter can save your day. But when you furnish your goodwill letter, ensure that you include accurate information only.
Also, creditors need to report the same to the credit bureaus, which, in turn, will update the information. And you may have to have a lot of patience to get rid of the late payment on your credit report.
Draft A Goodwill Adjustment Letter:
This is the foremost and easiest step since you just need to draft a goodwill letter. In other words, it is a letter conveying to the creditor that the late payments reported have valid reasons behind them.
These reasons may include an unexpected financial hardship or a worse-case event scenario. Regardless of the condition, you must focus on explaining the reason behind missed payments and convince the creditor to remove them from the credit report.
A properly drafted goodwill letter pleads the creditor to empathize and let go of the payments. It conveys that you are taking responsibility for the payments missed, and from now on, you will remain updated on your bills to the best of your abilities.
Goodwill letters are further effective if you specify a particular circumstance responsible for this. For instance, you might have lost your job or incurred sudden medical bills.
Once you are done writing the letter, you will have to send it to the creditor’s address mentioned on their website. You may have to keep in touch with your creditor several times to follow up.
In case the credit report has incorrectly reported that you have not made the desired payment when you have done it, it’s better to dispute the mistake rather than send a goodwill letter.
Although most of us try our best to pay the bills and debts on time, situations can turn against us anytime. People may have to deal with unforeseen issues leading to late payments.
Sometimes, it is inaccurately recorded in the credit report. As there are viable ways of removing an inaccurate late payment, you can come out of the mishap with ease.
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