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 In this case, future payments are withdrawn directly from your bank account.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.
- Credit.com: Your Payment History
- Better Credit: 3 Ways to Get a Late Payment Removed From Your Credit Report
- Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). "How Long Does Negative Information Remain on My Credit Report?" Accessed Dec. 10, 2019.
- Equifax. "When Does a Late Credit Card Payment Show Up on Credit Reports?" Accessed Dec. 10, 2019.
- Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). "Does My History of Paying Utility Bills, Like Telephone, Cable, Electricity, or Water, Go in My Credit Report?" Accessed Dec. 10, 2019.
- Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). "The Card Issuer Increased My Interest Rate on My Existing Balance. Can They Do That?" Accessed Dec. 10, 2019.
- Capital One. "Credit Card Charge-Off." Accessed Dec. 10, 2019.
- MyFICO. "Payment History." Accessed Dec. 10, 2019.
- Federal Trade Commission Consumer Information. "Disputing Credit Card Charges." Accessed Dec. 10, 2019.
Heather Topham Wood is a seasoned writer whose work has appeared in numerous publications, including USA Today, Gadgetell, Feel Rich and Step in Style. Heather is a published novelist with six Amazon bestsellers and a contract through Crescent Moon Press. She holds a bachelor's degree in English from TCNJ.