Your payment history is 35% of your credit score, and late payments are one of the most damaging things on your credit report… even if they’re just one or two payments. Often overlooked, these late payments can represent a serious threat to your credit.
But you can get late payments removed from your credit report with the right approach. Getting a late payment removed, depending on the situation, can be done very easily.
Here are a few ways you can remove late payments from your credit report.
3 Ways To Remove Late Payments From Your Credit Report
Request a Goodwill Adjustment From Your Creditor
Creditors do not want to lose you as a customer, especially if you usually pay your bills on time.
What you’re doing here is applying the human element to the situation. Let your creditor know that you did not mean to be late and that there is more to the situation than you simply being late.
However, if you have multiple late payments from this creditor, they’re not going to want to hear it and would rather you pay immediately.
Dispute The Payment With The Credit Bureau
If you believe the late payment was done in error (for example, the date on the payment was incorrect, or it’s reporting the wrong amount), you can dispute the late payment with the credit bureau that provided the credit report.
Make sure to include your name, the name of the creditor, the real information about the payment, and the account number that it concerns.
Negotiate A Deal With The Creditor
If you want to get a late payment removed, the credit bureau usually won’t do it unless the payment was inaccurate or fraudulent. In the case that it’s neither of those things, you’re going to want to negotiate a deal with the creditor to have it removed.
There are several deals you can negotiate to get your late payment removed.
1) Negotiate automatic payments. Creditors love it when you pay automatically, but many of them do not offer this ability online. If there is a potential issue with making your payments manually, creditors would like to know how you can make it easier for them to get their money.
2) Negotiate a payment plan. If you think that you may have trouble paying your bills, you could negotiate some sort of repayment plan on the loan or credit card balance. This will almost certainly require a good faith payment of a small amount, which can sometimes be seen a “pay to remove”. However, this is done so that the creditor knows that you’re capable of making the payments and that you’re committed to do so. In order to do this, you’ll need to have the money to make the payments, otherwise your credit score could be in worse shape.
3) Negotiate a deferment. A creditor wants to know that they can get their money and they’re sympathetic to those who want to pay them but may not have the ability to do so right this minute. If your payment is less than 30 days late, you may be able to negotiate a deferment where you agree that the last payment is not owed if you pay it in full at a later date in the near future. This will not always work.
How To Prevent Future Late Payments On Your Credit Report
Set Up Automatic Payments
As discussed before, automatic payments are a great boon to creditors because all they want is to get paid on time. With the help of automatic deductions from your bank or credit card accounts, you can avoid late payments in the future. Avoiding future late payments isn’t just a matter of setting up automatic payments, though. It’s also about making sure that the payments are made on time. By setting up automatic payments, you’re not only saving the creditor money, but you also won’t have to worry about forgetting to make a payment.
Keep Good Financial Habits
The reason most people have late payments isn’t just because they’ve forgotten, but because they may not have the money to pay. Some situations require choosing which bill to pay: the utilities, or the credit card. Since the credit card company isn’t going to shut off the utilities, often times it’s the utilities that get paid.
Spend less than you earn, and if that’s not possible because you’re deep in debt, you need to get help. Contact The Credit Pros to get debt repayment help, or check out our articles on snowballing your debt to get you on the road to a debt-free life.
MUST READ: Debt Freedom Budgeting Guide
Keep An Eye On Your Credit Report
Your credit report is what credit scoring formulas use to figure out your credit score. Creditors report late payments to the credit bureaus, and they might report the wrong information. It is important to watch your credit report carefully for signs of fraud or dishonesty. Although the credit bureaus are supposed to monitor for these things, they tend to overlook the smaller payments and are more likely to focus on the larger ones. Sometimes, a credit bureau will flag a transaction as fraudulent or dishonest, but it will still go through. The credit bureau will likely ignore any subsequent transactions with the same creditor. The credit bureau’s goal is to build a database of accurate credit information. You cannot trust your credit report to be completely accurate, though, because credit bureaus make mistakes too.
The Credit Pros Can Help You Remove Late Payments
The Credit Pros has been helping people recover from bad credit situations for decades. Whether you need to improve your credit score, get your life back on track with debt relief, or if you need help disputing items on your credit report, The Credit Pros wants to give you reprieve.