23. Save $100+ per month – Remove Late Payments: An Example “Goodwill Letter” for Credit Card Accounts
Check your credit score: One of the quickest ways to save yourself thousands of dollars is by checking your credit score and fixing errors on your credit report. The three major credit bureaus have big influence on your current interest rates (mortgage, auto, etc.) and improving your credit score could save you thousands a year in interest payments. Right now, Credit Sesame and Credit Karma provide you your credit score 100% FREE of charge (no credit card, no free-trials, no tricks, free for life).
One of the most successful blog posts I’ve ever written on this personal finance site is the one about removing late payments from your credit reports by using a goodwill letter.
Goodwill letters are nothing more than a plea to an institution (banks, credit card companies, automotive companies, hospitals, utilities, etc.) to remove any late payments you may have had from your three major credit reports (Experian, Transunion, and Equifax).
In that initial post I provided an example goodwill letter template that readers could copy and amend for their specific situation. To date the letter has been downloaded over one thousand times and I’ve received many thankful emails from readers who have used the sample goodwill letter to remove late payments from their files and enjoyed an immediate boost to their FICO Scores.
Today I am releasing a completely new goodwill letter aimed at credit card companies to help you get those unsightly late payments removed from your credit report. Besides, if too many people continue to use the original goodwill letter template those “evil” financial institutions may start to get suspicious!
A text version of the letter is listed below. Good luck and happy credit repairing!!!
Late payment removal request regarding account # XXXXXXX
To Whom It May Concern:
I have been a loyal card member of Capital One for 7 (change to the # of years you’ve been a card member) years and couldn’t be happier with my decision to join the Capital One Family. You’ve always offered some of the most competitive rates and rewards programs, and even beat a competitor’s lowest interest rate when I inquired about transferring my balance to their card (replace this sentence with a description of a time the company went “above and beyond" to help you).
Unfortunately, in December of 2010 (replace this with the date of your late payment(s) here) I took advantage of our relationship and failed to submit my monthly payment on time. It was an exceptionally busy time and my life as I was balancing the birth of our first child while taking night classes to fulfill one of my long standing career goals (replace this sentence with a POSITIVE life event that may have contributed to you missing the payment). Now that I have found a prosperous balance in my life I honestly cannot associate with the person that let this payment obligation go unattended to. I fully respect my obligations with Capital One and have worked diligently to amend my relationship with you by regaining your trust. A brief look at my account will reveal I have successfully made 12 on time payments since my unfortunate lapse of judgment.
Recently, I have begun search for a more financially rewarding career in business and it has come to my attention that my late payment(s) with Capital One may negatively affect my chances of obtaining a career in the field I am pursing. As you may know, FICO scores are being used more and more in the selection of prospective job applicants.
In light of my renewed focus and demonstrated commitment to rebuilding my trust with your company, I am requesting that you give me a second chance at a positive credit rating by revising the late payment(s) as reported on my three major credit bureau files (Experian, Transunion, and Equifax). I sincerely hope Capital Ones believes in their customers and I humbly request your consideration to allow me to pursue the career of my dreams. I appreciate your time and look forward to receiving a favorable decision from you department soon.
Your Name Here
Make Sure Your Credit Isn’t Costing You
Bad credit could be costing you hundreds of dollars per year. Fortunately, you can make that money back by staying on top of your credit score.
Experian, one of the three major credit reporting agencies, offers a free CreditWorks™ Basic report updated every 30 days. Checking your report allows you to stay on top of your credit history and make sure nothing is awry.
For day-to-day credit monitoring, I like to use Credit Sesame. The Credit Sesame app provides a snapshot of your credit situation all in one place. It also gives you personalized savings advice in areas where you could be overpaying, such as car and student loans.