How to Get a Late Payment Removed from Your Credit Report
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.
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.
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.