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How to Remove Late Payments from a Credit Report?

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It is no news that late payments can negatively affect your credit score. But don’t worry, there are ways to remove them from your credit report and improve your credit standing.

We’ll share some effective methods for removing late payments from your credit report, so you can get back on track and achieve your financial goals. Let’s proceed.

Few ways how to remove late payments from your credit report

Write a goodwill letter

Address this letter to your creditor explaining the reasons behind your late payment. If you had a genuine reason, you might convince the creditor to remove the late payment.

Kindly note that all creditors must report accurate information to credit bureaus, so there’s no guarantee that your request will be granted. Additionally, you can also contact your issuer before the late payment makes it onto your credit report by calling them.

If this is your first time, your chances of success may be higher. Remember to be honest, take responsibility for your actions, and express regret in your letter or phone call.

Write a pay-for-delete letter

This involves offering to pay off a collections account in exchange for the creditor removing it from your credit report.

However, you should remember that creditors are required to report accurate information to credit bureaus and may not be willing to remove accurate information simply because the account has been paid off.

Additionally, this method only applies to collections accounts and does not guarantee the removal of late payments. Therefore, it may be more effective to try other methods, such as writing a goodwill letter.

File a dispute

hand is writing a dispute on a digital board

If you suspect an error, you can file a dispute with the credit bureaus or the creditor that reported the information. Creditors must investigate the situation within 30 days of receiving your dispute.

If they find that the late payment information is correct, it will not be removed or updated.

However, if they agree that the information reported is incorrect, they must notify all the credit bureaus that received the information to update or remove it.

How long does it take to remove late payments from a credit report?

The time depends on the creditor and the credit bureaus. Generally, it takes up to seven years for late payments to be removed from a credit report.

However, if there is an incorrect late payment on your credit report, you can file a dispute with all the credit bureaus and consumer reporting agencies.

The credit bureaus will investigate your dispute within 30 days and remove any inaccurate information from your credit report.

While there is no guaranteed timeline for removing late payments from a credit report, taking proactive steps such as making on-time payments and setting up automatic payments can help improve your credit health and avoid negative items on your credit file.

How do late payments affect credit reports?

Late payments can hurt your credit report because it affects your credit score. When you fail to make a payment within 30 days or more, your credit score could drop by as much as 100 points.

This is because payment history is an essential factor in calculating your credit score. Any late payment can significantly hurt your credit score, making it harder for you to secure loans and credit in the future. So, you must make all payments promptly to maintain a good credit score.

Can you have a 700 credit score with late payments?

You can have a 700 credit score with late payments. However, it depends on various factors, like the frequency of the late payments, how recent they were, and the overall health of your credit history.

If you have a long credit history with several credit accounts and have been making on-time payments, the impact of late payments on your credit scores may be mild. Kindly note that late payments can stay on your credit report for up to seven years. So, the older the late payments, the less impact on credit scores.

How do I write a goodwill letter to remove late payments?

Here’s a simple guide on how to write a goodwill letter to remove late payments:

Address the creditor

Address the creditor or the company that reported your late payments. Look up their contact information on their website or on your credit report. You can also check the contact information on the correspondence you’ve received from them.

Introduce yourself and explain your situation

Be honest about the late payments and the circumstances around them. Take responsibility and express regret for the late payments. You can mention any financial hardship, job loss, or medical issues contributing to the late payments.


Apologize and request that the late payments be removed, emphasizing their negative impact on your credit scores.

Make your request

Request a “goodwill adjustment.” Explain that you understand the importance of credit history and its role in accessing credit, getting loans, renting apartments, and more. Express your sincere desire for a clean credit report and a second chance to prove your creditworthiness.


Appeal to the creditor’s sense of fairness and empathy by sharing any extenuating circumstances contributing to the late payments, such as medical bills, job loss, divorce, natural disasters, or other unexpected financial hardships.

Provide supporting documentation, if possible, to illustrate the severity and legitimacy of the situation. However, avoid making excuses or blaming others for your late payments, as this may be defensive or insincere.

Be appreciative

Thank the creditor for consideration, and offer to take steps to resolve the issue or prevent future late payments. End by expressing your hope that your request will be granted.

Finally, send the letter via certified mail with a return receipt requested so that you have proof of receipt.

A goodwill letter does not guarantee that the creditor will remove the late payments. It only demonstrates your willingness to correct things and improve your credit.

How to prevent late payments

Here are some ways to prevent late payments:

Enroll in automatic payments

This is to ensure that payments are made promptly. You can set up automatic payments with your credit card issuer or bank, so that payment will be deducted from your account when due.

Seek credit counseling:

If you are having trouble managing your finances or keeping up with payments, you can consider credit counseling. They can develop a payment plan that fits your financial situation.

Create a budget

Track your expenses to ensure that you have enough funds available to make your payments on time. This can also help you prioritize which bills to pay first and avoid overspending. Find out more about family budgeting options that may help you in the future.

In conclusion, having late payments on your credit report can be frustrating.

However, there are several ways to remove them. It’s best to take action as soon as possible and be proactive about improving your credit score. With the right steps, you can improve your financial standing.

Gintaras Baltusevicius

Gintaras is a fintech enthusiast with extensive experience working with startups in various industries, including cybersecurity, SaaS, and aviation. He has a passion for exploring new technologies and innovations in the financial industry and enjoys sharing his knowledge with others.

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