When you request your credit report from the three credit reporting agencies--Experian, Equifax and TransUnion--you should review the document to look for any late payments reported. According to the Credit.com website, payment history makes up about 35 percent of your credit score. If you have late payments reported to the credit bureaus, you can see a significant drop in your credit score. You can work directly with your creditors to remove late payments from your credit reports.
Call the customer service line of your creditor. Contact details may be listed on the report. Otherwise, use a previous billing statement to find the company’s phone number.
Ask for a goodwill adjustment to your credit file. If you have established a history of on-time payments with the creditor, the rep may be willing to remove the late payment violation from your credit report. Give a valid reason for the late payment. You can say something along the lines of, “I have a history of payments made on time with your company. During the month of September, I was moving to a new house and my payment was delayed. I would appreciate if you could remove this late payment from my file.”
Offer to sign up for an automated payment plan. If the rep won’t budge on removing the late payment, let her know you are willing to sign up for an automated payment plan if she obliges your request. In this case, future payments are withdrawn directly from your bank account.
Wait a couple of months and then recheck your credit report to see if the item has been removed. You can request a copy of your credit report directly from a credit reporting agency or go through the FTC-sponsored Annual Credit Report site.
If you feel as though the report is inaccurate and that you have never made a late payment to the creditor, send a dispute letter to both the creditor and credit reporting agency asking that the item be removed. Send any proof, such as a copy of a billing statement, to both parties.
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