Update: For an even better example goodwill letter click here.
Do you have late payments, or other derogatory information on your credit report(s)? If you’re applying for a mortgage, or other loan, you may find that a these negative tradelines are preventing you from obtaining the best interest rates.
When all other efforts fail (How to Clean Up Your Credit Report), try using a letter of “goodwill” to have the derogatory account information removed from your credit file.
Here’s how it works:
Credit card companies, banks, and other lending institutions have an interest in keeping their customer satisfaction levels high. Often times consumers will miss a payment deadline by a few days or longer due to forgetfulness, carelessness, or even an exceptional life event. If the late payment is legit, the last remaining option (besides waiting 7 years for the blemish to age off your report) is to simply ask the creditor to remove the late payment from your account as a courtesy of doing business. Often times (though not always) the creditor will remove the blemish as a gesture of “goodwill” (hence the term “goodwill letter”).
Key Elements of a Successful Goodwill Letter:
When writing a goodwill letter to a creditor there are several elements that you want to cover to improve the letter’s chance of success.
1. Keep the tone of the letter friendly and respectful.
2. Thank the company for the service they provided you.
3. Take responsibility for the late payment(s).
4. Define the chaotic life event (or other reason) that caused you to miss the scheduled payment.
5. Explain why it is important for you to have your account amended (an example might be you are preparing to apply for a mortgage or other loan).
6. Thank them for taking the time to read your letter.
7. Remember to keep the tone of the letter friendly.
Example Goodwill Letter:
Here is an excellent example of a goodwill letter I created that you can use and modify to suit your particular needs.
Or, you can click here for an even better example goodwill letter that I wrote since the one below has been used so successfully so many times. We wouldn’t want the banks and credit card companies catching on to us now would we??? HA!
Regarding Account # XXXXXXX
To Whom It May Concern:
My purpose for writing this letter today is twofold; one is to thank Toyota Financial Services for the excellent service you have provided me over the last few years and the second is a humble request to have my account information amended with regards to a late payment occurring in May of 2006.
I bought my new Toyota in the fall of 2003 and couldn’t be happier with my decision. Was it not for (describe some crazy situation that distracted you from making your payment on time: a move, a medical emergency, an accident, lost check, etc.) I’d have a spotless payment history. I understand my obligations with Toyota and have worked diligently to amend my relationship with you since that time (mention here how you’ve paid on time since the last late payment).
Since then I believe I have learned the essential organizational and financial management principles I desperately needed. Thankfully, responsible credit management is now reflected in my credit records which, excluding the Toyota 30-day late payment, are excellent. I wish to thank you for renewing your confidence in me and for giving me a second chance at a relationship with you, one that I am determined to keep spotless into the future.
Recently, I have begun my quest for a mortgage, and it has come to my attention that my tradeline with Toyota may affect my chances of obtaining the very lowest interest rates now available. Since the late payment(s) of record do not reflect my current status with Toyota, I am requesting that you give me a second chance at a positive credit rating by revising the late payment(s). I sincerely hope Toyota Financial Services believes in their customers, and I humbly request your consideration. I appreciate your time and look forward to receiving a favorable decision from you department soon.
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How to Use a Goodwill Letter to Remove Late Payments From Your Credit Report
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