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Remove Late Payments from Your Credit Report with a Goodwill Letter

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!


Your Name
Your Address


Company’s Name
Company’s Address

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.


Your Name Here

Word of Caution:
Make absolutely sure that the file you are requesting goodwill on is accurate or there is the possibility that during the “review” of your file, you have more late payments than are actually reporting. In other words, make sure you validate the debt.

Related Articles:
How to Clean Up Your Credit Reports
Dave Ramsey’s 7 Financial Baby Steps
How to Use a Goodwill Letter to Remove Late Payments From Your Credit Report
Free Excel Checkbook Registry Spreadsheet
Identity Theft Prevention Guide
Sample Debt Validation Letter: How the Debt Valdiation Process Works


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{ 67 comments… add one }

  • clea August 24, 2011, 9:28 pm

    I also had a situation with citibank (Children’s Place). I made a payment online in July (1st payment since acct is new) but in human error entered my checking account number incorrectly. The payment was reversed later that month (they sent an email but it went to junk and got deleted). Since I didn’t know it got reversed the account went 30days late and they reported it. I wrote a goodwill letter a few days ago and of the 8 people I’ve spoken with 50% have said they will reverse it once the credit dispute department reviews the account. The other half said b/c its not bank error, they will not reverse it.
    I pay my bills on time and they can see that I tried to make the payment, it just got reversed; why would they not report to the credit bureau that the 30 days late is an error.

  • S.McGuire September 30, 2011, 1:12 pm

    I have 3 accounts that have late payments documented that are within 1 – 2 years of the 7 year reporting frame. During that period my husband was out of work due to health issues. Although I made several late payments, I did make payments and eventually paid off all the accounts including all the late charges etc. They are current paid off and closed. Since then my credit is flawless. These accounts are bringing down my score. Although the only debt I have at this point is my mortgage and I don’t use credit cards anymore, things like my auto/homeowners insurance rate are affected. I would like to write goodwill letters to each company asking if they will go ahead and stop reporting the accounts to the credit agencies. My only concern is that they are the oldest accounts on my record. Removing them will somewhat decrease the age of my overall credit history. In this case, which is more detrimental to my overall score the 3 accounts reporting multiple late payments or reducing the age of my credit record?

  • TheGooch October 2, 2011, 1:40 am

    S. McGuire
    You said
    >They are current paid off and closed.
    Closed accounts don’t affect the account age part of your FICO score. Negative status or late payment entries will bring your score down, and a good payment history and closure status (‘paid in full’ is best) will increase your score.

  • Mrs Rosemary Paul, October 11, 2011, 10:20 am

    My Name Is
    Mrs Rosemary Paul, From USA, An X-Scam Victim and how i get back on my feet and be a personal business owner with cars and landed properties…. This is to announce to the general public about a legitimate lender online.


    I was in a critical search of a genuine loan lending company were i can obtain a loan of $150,000.00USD some lender’s that Came to me sheep clothing i never know they where fraud until i was given the terms of their loan and i agreed eventually i was scammed they scammed me of my hard earn money up to four lender’s that scammed me the sum of $32,000.00USD and i though that all is over that there can never be any other genuine lender until my Husband’s Friend Mr. Mark Johnson the general manager of Mark Johnson farm company told me that there is a genuine lender that he obtained a loan of 1.5 Million Dollars At 3% interest rate From that makes him own a private business and a house of his own he Referred me to a company Mr.Muyi Loan Company ,E-mail:muyiloancompany@yahoo.com Where he obtained the loan of ($1.1 million Dollars) i told them how referred me to them i applied for a loan of $180,000.00USD after my application and i sent to them the useful information for them to process my loan after 4hours i received a notification From their company that my loan has been approved and processed in the next 4hours my loan of $180,000.00 Dollars was transferred into my account. And i promise them for coming to my rescue i am going to spreed the good news to the entire world ABOUT MUYI LOAN COMPANY IS THE BEST IN THE WORLD. And i also pray God will lead ever one who need a loan in USA, to this company today.

    And tell them, i
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    Mrs Rosemary Paul,

  • Roy October 12, 2011, 6:57 pm

    Thanks for ref. Bobby morgan,sadra n rosemary
    Other ppl stay away from muyi loan company thing

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  • WTH December 4, 2011, 9:37 pm

    These stupid scammers with there loans would probably work if they knew how to speak and spell english properly bunch of jack asses.

  • Neil December 5, 2011, 2:23 pm

    Got a reply from BofA in friday. They said nothing can be done with my case as its not a mistakenon BofA’s part and so they consider it closed :-(

    Anyone had a positive experience with BofA recently? Kindly share it here and also the address where you sent your letter.

    Thanks much for your help!


  • Mrs Sandra Chuks December 29, 2011, 7:46 am

    Hello Everyone, My name is Mrs Sandra Chuks located in London, i will advise you contact Ms Roberta Paul for an urgent loan. She is reliable and genuine. She gave me a loan of $52,500 when my family was really in bad shape with finance.She gave me the loan when at the exact time i needed it. I have a new restaurant business and all of my debt has been cleared. I have made a promise within me that i must advertise for her business because of what she has done for me. Contact her through her email at robertapaulloanfirm31@yahoo.com She will help you with your loan only if you will agree with the loan terms and condition. God Bless You Goodluck

  • Tim S January 10, 2012, 8:48 pm

    I have recently sent in goodwill letters to Chase, Wells Fargo, and Bank of America and they all came back as saying that the late payment was not a mistake and therefore it cannot be changed per their company policy. Did not have much luck with the sample letter that was recommended.

  • Ben January 25, 2012, 12:10 pm

    Sorry to hear that all of your work was in vein Tim! People are reporting less success using these goodwill letters since the technique is becoming more well known and used. My guess is these companies have become overwhelmed with the influx of such letters and are rewriting their policies to curb the amount of letters they receive.

  • Irish Mike July 17, 2012, 12:17 pm

    Has anyone had experience with student loan deferment issues? My daughter was unaware her payments had commenced, but once she realized it, she sought (and received) a deferment so that the first payment isn’t due for another year. But they’re still showing the first payment as 90 days late! And on the first dispute, they stuck to their guns on the reporting. Hate to see her suffer a late payment report on her credit for a payment that in the end wasn’t even due. Hoping the goodwill letter will help.

  • Phil February 20, 2013, 10:36 am

    Does anyone know the correct answer to my problem? 2005-2008 I leased a dodge Durango. Over the holidays I made 2 payments late, December because I forgot, and January because I was behind on my bills from the holidays. Regardless, I set myself up on Autopay and paid on time for the remainder of the lease. Since the account is now closed, does it even make sense to try and send a GW letter to remove the late payments? I know good credit stays on longer than bad, so this account will be with me for a while, but if I can get those two late payment notices “off”, would I increase my score?


  • Key West Coupons March 13, 2013, 6:22 pm

    I will immediately grasp your rss feed as I can not to find your email subscription
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  • Ben October 3, 2014, 5:37 pm

    Hi Phil! Sorry for the delay in response (i missed your question)…YES! Your credit score will definitely improve if you are successful in getting the late payments removed with a goodwill letter! Good luck, and if you haven’t already, you can use my sample goodwill letter above!

  • Shannon April 10, 2015, 10:33 am

    What address did you mail it to for citi bank

  • cheryl luczak June 8, 2015, 4:53 pm

    I am trying to send a goodwill letter to Kohl’s. Where should I send it? Is there a certain department that I should address it to?

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