How to Get a Late Payment Removed from Your Credit Report

Editorial Note:

Updated: July 27, 2020

Late payments on your credit report can have a knock-on effect when you next apply for a credit loan. Credit scores are there to show whether or not you can meet your payments on time, so it is only natural that if you have late payments in the past it will bring down your credit score. Whether legitimate or a mistake by your lender, it’s always in your best interest to get a late payment removed from your credit report as soon as possible. Late payments can show up on your credit report for up to seven years so it is vital that you make sure not to get any in the first place.

How Late Payments Appear in Credit Reports

There are two ways a late payment will show in credit reports – accurately or by mistake.

  • If you have actually made a late payment it will prove difficult to have it removed from your credit report. Getting it removed will be a time-consuming process and it may not even be possible at all.
  • If your credit report is showing a late payment by mistake, it is usually down to your lender or the credit bureau, they may have just forgotten to add the payment to your report. If this is the case you should dispute the error immediately. It is relatively easy to have the late payment removed and your credit score won’t be affected.

3 Ways to Remove Late Payments from Your Credit Report

It may be difficult and take some time, but there is always a chance to get a legitimate late payment removed.

Ask

The first option is simply to ask. Writing a goodwill letter or calling your lender and giving an honest explanation for your late payment, for example, hospitalization or family bereavement. If it was a once-off late payment and you have since been paying your bills on time, this will certainly help your case. Remember in your letter or over the phone, you are dealing with another human being so try to remain calm and explain your reason for the late payment in a rational manner.

Make an Offer

Secondly, you can make an offer to your lender. Lenders always prefer you to sign up for automatic payments for example, but it isn’t always an option for you at the time. However, if you can offer to sign up for automatic payments, perhaps the lender will be able to remove your late payment from your credit report in return. Automatic payments ensure that the lender will receive their money on time and without any hassle for them. The lender may suggest another way for you to have your late payment removed if you are in the position to agree to it.

Get Professional Help

Lastly, get professional help. If the first two options don’t work for you, and you still have your late payments on your credit report, it may be worth looking into getting an attorney. This may be a costly process but they should be able to review the position and there may be additional options available to you under federal or state laws.

Be Persistent

Don’t think that once you have a late payment it is impossible to remove it or rebuild your credit score. Make sure you go down all possible avenues to have your late payment removed, and don’t give up after the first go. Be persistent. If all else fails and you don’t succeed, you need to start rebuilding your credit score. You can rebuild your score by ensuring you have no more late payments in the future, so get them in on time. If you can’t set up automatic payments for the full amount, try setting them up for the minimum payment required.

Roman Zelvenschi

I started a digital marketing agency Romanz Media Group Inc. 12 years ago. Running my own business quickly taught me the importance of cash flow. Making sales was not enough, I had to have money in the bank to pay the vendors, staff and personal bills.

During those early stages of the company I learned how to get creative with debt and to save on interest cost. I paid for everything I could with a credit card to both get more points and to extend the payment date by 25 days (credit card grace period). I then utilized a 0% balance transfer offers to rotate this debt.

I learned a lot during this process and made a lot of mistakes. My key lesson is that the most important part of being financially independent is how much I managed to save, rather than how much I earned. Staying disciplined with savings and tracking spending is not easy and I tried many different methods to stay on track.

FinancialFreedom.Guru is a side project where I and my staff are trying to share the practical knowledge on how to understand finances and to build wealth.

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Dawnmarie B
Dawnmarie B
1 month ago

Yes, ask is the best option to start with. We called our creditors after we suffered a tornado and everything was late that month, they removed the late reporting and some even refunded the late fee

Kayla
Kayla
27 days ago

I’ve had one removed because my son was born early, just called them

Anastasia
Anastasia
27 days ago

If it’s not a consistent occurrence, most companies have no problem removing the charge if you call or email

Seden K
Seden K
26 days ago

I had neglected to make a payment to a store cc mainly because i forgot i used it since i rarely use it. I called them and explained the situation. They refunded the late fee and got rid of the negative credit bureau reporting. I think to call them and ask them nicely is a good option. If you have an excuse like moving or rarely using the account or something, let them know that.

Nick Nelson
Nick Nelson
26 days ago

One more way to get late payment removed. You can challenge the claim with each credit bureau claiming it is not your debt. The company that put it on your credit report then has to prove it is yours within a certain time period and if they do not reply, it gets removed. Generally speaking, companies won’t waste their time to prove a debt that is paid off.
Yes, this is not the most ethical way but credit bureaus aren’t exactly ethical either.