Work With A Professional
If youre not confident in your ability to successfully dispute a late payment on your own, there are several popular credit repair companies that can help you.
have knowledgeable legal professionals on staff to help you out. They also help with other negative listings on your credit report.
Its easy to call for a free consultation to get an idea of the cost and the services theyll provide you with. Working with a pro is a great idea if youre short on time, unsure of your own abilities in disputing, and have some buffer room in your budget for this short-term expense.
Dispute With The Credit Bureaus
You can dispute information on your credit reports for free and with no negative impact to your credit scores. You can submit credit bureau disputes online, over the phone, or via mail. However, your best bet is typically to mail your dispute letter directly to each credit bureau via certified mail.
When you dispute an item on your report, the credit bureau must investigate it within 30 days . Once the investigation is completed, the bureau must also provide you with an update to let you know the results of your dispute.
During the investigation, the bureau will review your dispute and the information in your credit file, and check with the lender. If the bureau verifies that the item is correct, it will stay on your credit report. If it discovers that the item is incorrect, the account will be updated or removed from your report entirely.
If you actually did make a late payment, dont dispute it as inaccurate. Some people try this, hoping to get lucky when the creditor isnt able to verify in time. We wouldnt recommend lying in any case, but you should know that the electronic systems being used now are much faster than older systems, and verifications can be completed much more quickly. If you make false claims like this you could damage your relationship with the , and it may not approve you for its cards in the future.
Weve provided a sample letter below that you can use as a template.
Dispute With Experian
Dispute With Equifax
What To Look For On Your Credit Report
Lenders use codes to send information to the credit bureaus about how and when you make payments.
These codes have two parts:
- a letter shows the type of credit you’re using
- a number shows when you make payments
You may see different codes on your credit report depending on how you make your payments for each account.
What Is A Credit Report
Your contains personal information such as your social insurance number, date of birth, current and previous address, and employment history. It will also include detailed information about your credit accounts, , and payment information.
When you apply for a mortgage or another type of credit, lenders will use this information to approve or deny your application. Landlords may also want to see your credit report when deciding whether or not you will be able to pay your rent and employers may take a look before they choose to hire you .
When someone checks your credit report, its known as a .
Negatively Impact Credit Or Lower Credit Score
After a certain number of days, a lender can report the issue to credit bureaus, which can adversely affect your credit score.
This can impact your life in several ways, including making it more difficult to qualify for credit cards, buy a car and get a mortgage.
If youre approved with bad credit, youre likely to experience higher interest rates.
Loan services will report your late payments to credit bureaus when youre 30 days past due for private student loans and 90 days past due for federal student loans.
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What Happens If You Cant Pay Your Private Student Loans
Private student loans can be a bit trickier than federal ones.
These loans dont often come with flexible repayment plans. Most often, your lender simply puts you on a repayment plan that will have the loan fully paid off on their desired timeline.
If you cant pay, your first step should be to call your lender and ask if they have any special repayment programs. For example, SoFi offers an Unemployment Protection Program, which allows for a 12-month forbearance if you lose your job through no fault of your own. Sallie Mae offers forbearance for borrowers facing temporary financial hardship, also for up to 12 months.
Another option for making your payments more affordable is to refinance your private student loan.
Bottom Line: How To Remove A Late Payment From Your Credit Report
Late payments affect your credit score and ability to secure lending, moving forward quite a bit. Do what you can to avoid making them at all.
If you slip up or cant avoid it, you have plenty of tools at your disposal to correct the issue either on your own or with the help of a credit repair company.
Our favorite is to hire a company, like .
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Examples Of Creditors Removing Late Payments
Some creditors may be more receptive than others to goodwill letters, adjustments, or negotiations to remove negative entries. It can be immensely helpful to research your creditor & find out if others have had success removing their late payments with that company.
For instance, heres a report from an individual who was able to remove their Capital One late payments via light negotiation.
Heres another report from someone who disputed their Best Buy late payments with all three credit bureaus, and successfully had their marks removed.
Tip: pull up your favorite search engine and search remove Creditors Name late payments from credit report. Keep an eye out for cases specific to the company youre dealing with.
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What Can I Do If I’ve Paid Rent Late
The first thing you need to do is bring your account up to date as soon as possible. The more you put it off, the more the late rent can damage your credit score.
If youre going through a tough time, your landlord may understand the situation and grant you an extension. You can even try to convince them to remove the black mark from your credit report if you have a good rapport.
However, it goes without saying that the best way to avoid all of these issues is to prioritize rent in the first place. We strongly suggest setting up an automatic bank deposit plan if you tend to be forgetful!
How To Improve Your Credit Score
If your credit score is low, there are steps you can take to help improve it. You can:
- lower your credit card limit
- limit how many applications you make for credit
- pay your rent or mortgage on time
- pay your utility bills on time
- pay your credit card on time each month either pay in full or pay more than the minimum repayment
As you do these things, your credit score will start to improve. So you’ll be more likely to be approved next time you apply for a loan or credit.
If you’re struggling to pay bills and are getting into more debt, talk to a free financial counsellor. They can take you through the options and help you make a plan.
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What To Do If The Reported Late Payment Is Incorrect
When your credit report shows that you missed a payment, but you know you paid the bill on time, you can file a dispute with the credit bureau where the late payment appears and ask it to correct your credit report. Each of the major credit bureausExperian, TransUnion and Equifaxhas different procedures, but you can file disputes with each by mail, phone or online.
With Experian, the simplest option is to use the online Dispute Center. After creating or logging in to your account, you can review your credit report and select the late payment that you want to dispute. You can then indicate the reason for the dispute and upload supporting documents, if you have them, such as proof of your on-time payment.
Experian will keep you updated during the investigation and resolution process, which generally takes 30 days or less. Once the investigation is complete, the disputed information will be corrected, deleted or, if deemed accurate, it will remain on your report.
How Can A Late Payment Affect My Credit Score
Late payments definitely affect your credit report and have a negative impact on your score. Youll want to avoid them if you can.
You might be relieved to hear not every late payment will be recorded in your file. Each credit account on your file is assigned a number from 0-9. 0 indicates a brand-new account, 1 means you pay your bill within 30 days or the agreed term, and 9 means your account has gone on to collections or bankruptcy. You definitely want to see your accounts sitting at 1.
Whats the difference between a credit score and a credit rating? Find out here.
The good news is, youll only see a late payment on an account if it is more than 30 days overdue. If you catch it in time, you will be able to keep your great credit rating.
If a late payment does make it to your credit report, its impact will depend on several factors:
- How late? The longer it stays unpaid, the more negatively, it will affect your score.
- How frequent? Creditors will take note of whether this is a one-time occurrence or a habit that increases your level of risk.
- How recent? Recent missed payments might be a red flag to a lender, suggesting you are having financial difficulty and may not be able to honour your debt.
Look here for more information about how missed payments affect your credit score.
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Removing Late Payments From Your Credit Score By Yourself
Late payments on your credit score are sometimes the sole indicator to a lender about your overall creditworthiness. Frequent late payments will indicate your likelihood of making your future payments on time for the duration of the loan you are trying to get.
Late payments could be forgiven by your loan officer if:
If you have a good history of making payments on time, the late payments may be forgiven. Forgiven by your loan officer, but still tainting your credit report. You need to remove these items from your credit report permanently for the simple fact that they may be the one thing keeping you from securing a loan in an emergency.
If you have several late payments that are spread across multiple financial institutions or credit card companies, then you are going to be contacting each one of them separately to go through this process of asking for forgiveness. This will consume your time and energy at a rapid pace. There is a much better way to remove late payments from your credit report.
Common Questions About Credit Reporting
What information do you send to the credit reporting agencies?
We send a range of account information, including loan or lease amount, account balance, scheduled monthly payment, payment history and account status.
I missed a payment. Can you make a goodwill or courtesy adjustment and remove it from my credit report?
The information we report is required to be complete and accurate. Because of this, we dont make goodwill or courtesy adjustments. We understand that you may be concerned about the potential impact of a late payment. Learn more about credit reporting information, including tips for raising your credit score.
When is a payment reported as late on my credit report?
A payment may be reported as past due if its received 30 or more days after the due date.
How can I get a copy of my credit report?
Youre entitled to a free credit report every 12 months from each of the three major credit reporting agencies. To get your report or for more information, go to annualcreditreport.com
How do I correct an error on my credit report?
If you think weve reported information incorrectly, you can dispute it with us and/or with the credit reporting agency.
Attn: Customer Service Inquiries LA4-4025
Monroe, LA 71203-4774
You can also provide the information directly to the credit reporting agencies by calling them at the numbers listed below:
We’re here to help you manage your money today and tomorrow
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Will Paying Off My Debt Remove The Late Payment From My Credit Report
Paying the debt off doesnt remove it from your credit report, but it does help your credit score. Plus, it helps your reputation when you apply for new credit.
Despite the late payment reporting, if lenders see you made good on your debt, it wont affect their decision as much. If you left the debt unpaid, it would be worse.
If you want the debt completely removed, you must negotiate a pay for delete or a goodwill adjustment . But this is hard. Do what most people do and hire a credit repair company.
Dispute With The Lender
Once you know that theres an incorrect late payment on one or more of your credit reports, its time to contact the lender who reported it.
If this is a credit card issuer, this may be as simple as calling the number on the back of your card, or checking our list of . Otherwise youll need to look up the appropriate contact information to call your lender.
You may have success simply by calling and notifying them of the error. They might check their own records, see the mistake, and take steps to rectify it.
In other cases, the lender may request proof that you didnt make a late payment, i.e., proof that you made a timely payment for the billing period in question. A letter containing a copy of a bank statement showing the payment, or some other kind of documentation, may be able to satisfy a creditors request for proof. If your lender is satisfied, it will fix the error.
As a template for this letter, check out our sample letter to a credit bureau below. Youll have to change some of the information to send it to your lender instead of a credit bureau, and youll also have to adjust some of the text based on what they tell you on the phone. But this should give you a good starting point.
If the lender agrees that the delinquency is an error, get it in writing. Get a written verification that the late payment was a reporting error by the lender, and not your fault.
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Errors By The Credit Provider
A credit provider may have reported information wrongly. For example, they:
- incorrectly listed that a payment of $150 or more was overdue by 60 days or more
- did not notify you about an unpaid debt
- listed a default while you were in dispute about it
- didn’t show that they had agreed to put a payment plan in place or change the contract terms
- created an account by mistake or as a result of identity theft
To fix this kind of error:
- Contact the credit provider and ask them to get the incorrect listing removed.
- If the credit provider agrees it’s wrong, they’ll ask the credit reporting agency to remove it from your credit report.
If you can’t reach an agreement, contact the Australian Financial Complaints Authority to make a complaint and get free, independent dispute resolution.
If you’re struggling to get something fixed, you can contact a free financial counsellor for help.
Sample Letter: Credit Bureau Late Payment Dispute Request
You can use this sample letter to dispute information in your credit report. Just insert the appropriate information, like your name and address, the credit bureau name and address, and specific details in the body of the letter. If youre disputing more than one item, youll need to adjust the language to refer to multiple accounts.
Only include copies of documents, not the originals. If you choose to provide a copy of your credit report, circle the delinquent account in question.
Send your dispute request by certified mail, with a return receipt requested, so youll be sure that they receive it.
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How To Get Late Payments Removed
The simplest approach is to just ask your lender to take the late payment off your credit report. That should remove the information at the source so that it wont come back later. You can request the change in two ways:
If the late payment is accurate, you can still ask lenders to remove the payment from your credit reports. They are not required to do so, but they may be willing to accommodate your request, especially if one or more of the following apply:
- You paid late due to a hardship like hospitalization or a natural disaster
- The late payment was not your fault, and you can document the cause
- You can offer them something in return, like paying off a loan that youre behind on
- You usually pay your bills on time and you made a one-time mistake
Some situations are so complicated or unfair that you need professional help. An attorney licensed in your area can review your case and offer guidance on additional options.