Updated: Feb 8, 2021
By: Kaneisha Mitchell
A goodwill letter is a request to a creditor to ask them to remove late payments from your credit report by contacting the credit bureaus on your behalf. Late payments of more than 30 days cause a ding on your credit score and stay on your credit report for seven years. Goodwill letters are not 100% effective but worth attempting because removal can cause your credit score to improve.
A goodwill letter should not be confused with a dispute letter. Disputes require you to contact the three major consumer credit bureaus and claim that something on your reports is wrong.
With goodwill letters you are not contacting the credit bureaus or disputing the legitimacy of the error. An effective goodwill letter asks the creditor to remove derogatory marks from your credit report and to empathize with your circumstance. Maybe during the time you were going through a hardship and explain your circumstance. The letter should have a tone of being courteous. You should take responsibility for missed payments and acknowledge your plan to stay current in the future. During these hard times, you may be given more assistance than just derogatory removal. Make sure the letter is short and straight to the point.
Once, you have sent your letter if you do not hear back or do not get your desired outcome continue to be persistent. Persistence may cause them to change their original response.
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