Your credit score could be at risk of harm if you are late paying a bill. A creditor might report to the credit bureaus that you are 30 days or more late paying a bill. But credit repair companies have found that you can remove these late payments from your credit report if you use the proper steps. You can dispute the issue if you have enough evidence, or you can write a letter with a proposal to the creditor in question.
The Risk of a Late Payment
You could experience a significant drop in your credit rating depending on the severity of your late payment. Your score could take a more substantial hit if your payment is very late or if it is more significant in value. You could potentially see your rating drop by 100 points if you’re late by 30 days. This problem can occur regardless of your prior credit rating and history.
Sometimes a late payment may be listed on your credit report as a charge off. The charge off means that a creditor believes a debt it requires will not be collected. This point is declared about six months after payment is due in most cases. A charge off can cause even more harm to your credit rating, especially if a credit line or account is closed off due to that lack of payment.
Check Your Credit Reports
Credit repair companies will recommend looking at your credit reports to see if you have any late payments first. A bureau may list these details on your report:
- When the payment was made
- How many days late you were
- Details on who you were paying
All credit reporting bureaus will have different standards for how they will list late payments. Some may use a distinct code or symbol you will find directly on your report. Check every part of your report to see what it lists.
Review Account Statements
There may be cases where you paid a bill on time, but the report says you did not. You can review account statements from whatever account you utilized for paying the bill versus the account that shows you have a late payment. You can also check for any payment confirmation notices you received. You can use these details as evidence showing you completed the payment on time.
Filing a Dispute
Credit repair companies recommend people file official disputes with the credit bureaus reporting these late payments. You can send a notice to the bureau about the error on your report. Be sure to provide as many details and documents as possible proving that the payment was completed as requested.
You could also file a complaint with the creditor or whatever collection companies were involved with the payment in question. You’ll need to send the same proof at this point.
Both groups will have 30 days to investigate the dispute. If the bureau agrees that the late payment report is incorrect, it will remove or update the info. If a creditor agrees on the same, that party must tell the credit bureaus to remove the late payment report.
Writing An Adjustment Letter
Not all 30-day late payment issues can be resolved through a dispute. A credit repair company can assist you with various other processes to help you remove a late payment or charge off from your report. One option to consider entails writing an adjustment letter.
An adjustment letter is something you can write to a creditor if you wish to make a goodwill adjustment on your credit report. You can use this if you have a positive payment history or a strong relationship with the creditor.
People often write adjustment letters for many reasons:
- The customer has a good history with the company.
- The customer has documentation proving that the late payment is not one’s fault. The person could provide that documentation as necessary.
- There was a hardship or other issue that kept someone from paying off the debt. These issues can include an illness or natural disaster.
- The customer can offer something worthwhile in return, such as a partial payment.
You can write a letter explaining the following:
- A request to forgive the late payment
- An explanation on why the late payment occurred
- Assurance that you’re not going to make any more late payments
Creditors are not always going to support adjustment letters. But this is one of the best solutions you have, especially if you’re in good standing with someone.
Writing a Pay For Delete Letter
Another option you have for resolving your 30-day late payment entails writing a pay for delete letter. The letter is for those with poor history with a lender or those whose debts have been sent to collection companies. You can write your pay for delete letter to state that you will pay the debt in full and in return have that negative mark on your credit report removed. You could also include a proposal for automatic payments where you will have your future payments automatically forwarded from a bank account.
You can include the following in your letter:
- What you are offering; this can include full payment of your debt or an auto-pay solution
- What you want out of the deal; it can include the debt marked as paid or removal of the payment from your credit report
- The date when you’re looking for a response
A Final Note From Credit Repair Companies
Be persistent when filing to remove a 30-day late payment from your credit report. A late payment can be a significant threat to your report, especially if it is rather valuable. But credit repair companies will be there to help you manage whatever payments you wish to handle. Be certain when filing an issue or striking an agreement that you know what you are doing and that you have enough details to confirm you should have the payment in question removed from your account. Your work should be about restoring your credit history and keeping your rating from getting any worse than possible.