Repairing your credit requires making choices beneficial to your personal finances. it requires patience and time, and it’s not easy work. Your credit score is a number with the power to determine your future, from your ability to purchase a home to applying for a new credit card. When your credit report shows your negative credit history, it’s difficult for creditors and lenders to want to approve you for a card or loan. They see your poor payment history, your missed payments, collection accounts, and your other negative items and wonder if you’re incapable of being a beneficial customer.
When you get serious about the credit repair process, you might decide to dispute items on your credit report. Many people do this, and it’s a successful process when a dispute is legitimate. When there is inaccurate information such as a credit agency that reports you as being deceased when you are clearly alive, it’s easy to dispute that information and have it repaired. When the information you’re disputing is accurate, however, it’s a different story. If you dispute an item that’s correct, you might have luck having it removed from your credit report if the original creditor doesn’t respond to the dispute once it’s been filed by the credit bureaus. There’s nothing you can do about this, but you can use a goodwill letter in an alternative fashion.
The Meaning of Goodwill Letter
You’d like to dispute a debt that’s old, but it’s not quite 7-years-old. This is the maximum length of time a negative report stays on your credit report. What you can do is contact the creditor and ask them to remove it from the report on your behalf. To do this, you typically have to offer to pay the account in full or at least negotiate a settlement price with the original creditor. Another scenario is a request to an old creditor who already filed a charge-off or negative item on your credit report, but you paid the amount due after the negative item was already reported.
Now is the time to ask for a goodwill letter. It’s a letter you send to your creditors. In the letter, you ask them if they would be willing to call the credit bureaus and remove the negative items from your report. You’re asking them to do this since you paid the debt and it’s no longer valid.
A goodwill letter is also great for those who have made a few late payments here and there but have a great credit history otherwise. You can write a letter of goodwill to the creditor asking them to consider your years of on-time payments as a good reason to remove that one late payment from your credit report. Many creditors are happy to do this for their customers.
Asking for A Goodwill Letter
The best way to ask for a goodwill letter is nicely. Your creditors don’t owe you anything. You made a promise to them when you applied for your loan or credit card to make your payments by a specific date every month, to make the payment in at least the amount of the minimum payment due, and to abide by the terms and conditions on your contract. You didn’t do that, and they don’t owe you anything. Asking nicely is all you have working in your favor.
When you send your goodwill letter, be pleasant and state the facts as you see them. Make your request, and send the letter via certified mail. Doing this helps ensure you’re able to prove the letter arrived on a specific day to the creditor. You can find sample goodwill letters online, which can help you word them correctly.
Goodwill letters can be requested via the phone, but putting it in writing is generally a better idea. It’s proof that you asked nicely, and it’s proof of exactly what was said and why the request was made.
What Happens Next?
When your creditor receives your goodwill letter, they will likely respond to you with a letter in return. Some might not, but you can check your credit report around the 30-day mark and see if there are any changes to the report. Sometimes changes are made without notifying the consumer, and there’s nothing wrong with that. If they send you a letter, it will detail how they’ve chosen to handle your request. Your only job is to check with the credit bureaus to ensure your request was issued once you receive confirmation your letter is being considered.
Your credit score is important to your financial future, and it means a lot to consumers when a credit company is willing to work with them. It’s imperative consumers understand there are many instances in which a creditor will not work with the consumer to remove negative items. If you have a positive credit history with them other than a small blemish, chances are good they might remove that item. If you have a long-standing negative credit history, it’s a safe bet you won’t see them willing to work with you.
The best you can do is ask for a goodwill adjustment to your credit report. The worst thing a creditor can tell you is no, but you won’t know what they might decide until you ask. Be kind and courteous, and work on making better financial decisions in the future to avoid doing this again.