Often, when money and debt are involved, tensions run high and we forget that ultimately we’re just dealing with people like us. One of the best ways to improve your credit score is to simply explain your situation and ask for a little goodwill by writing a goodwill letter.
Here is how a goodwill letter works. Let’s say you have a negative mark on a credit report with an account that has not gone to a collection agency. It might be from a credit card company when you got a couple of months behind on your payments. If the payment is now up-to-date, you should try simply asking the company to remove the late payment from your credit report. No one is obligated to remove accurate information from your credit score, but companies are eager to satisfy you, their customer. It’s in their best interest to keep you as a customer.
When writing a letter requesting a negative mark be removed, keep a few things in mind.
1. Be courteous. Put yourself in the company’s position and ask how you would like to be treated. Remember that the company has provided you with a service and thank them for that.
2. Acknowledge your fault in the late payments and explain the circumstances that prevented you from making these payments.
3. If there is a specific reason that you need a good credit rating, such as attempting to get a loan for a house or a much-needed car, include it.
4. Again, be friendly. Thank them for their time and offer to answer any questions they have.
Using a goodwill letter, thousands have been able to have a negative credit mark removed when the account is no longer past due and when the debt hasn’t been passed on to a collection agency. Just remember the above tips or use a form letter, or let a credit repair company do the work for you.
Goodwill Letter Sample
Note: This sample goodwill letter does not have to be used for a credit card company. It can be used for any negative account on your credit report, but it’s probably best for you to dispute the accounts with the credit reporting agency before attempting a goodwill letter.
Attn: [Credit Card Company]
[Credit Card Company Address]
Re: Acct # xxxxxxxxxxx
Dear Mr./Mrs. CEO/Pres,
I am writing concerning my experience with [company name] that is both a grateful “thank-you” and a pressing request concerning a tradeline in my credit files that I would like to have revised.
I received my [credit card company] on [date you received card] and took pride in the fact that all my payments were routinely made in a timely manner. Unfortunately, in [whenever late payment was made], I had a tragic accident and was in the hospital over Christmas. I am the sole provider for our family and was unable to go to work for over a month. I did use what little vacation and sick time I had to cover our living expenses but needless to say, this left us in an unfavorable position financially. Not only do we have three young children but it was at the hardest time of the year since it was Christmas. Concessions had to be made and regretfully, this led to a late payment on my [credit card company] account.
The loss of income, even though it was a short period of time was a brutal “wake-up” call for me concerning financial responsibility. Since that incident, I have learned the essential organizational and financial management skills I desperately needed at that point and my payment history from [date] reflects that. I wish to thank you for your renewed confidence in me and for giving me a second chance at a positive relationship with [credit card company], one that I am determined to keep untarnished.
My wife and I are about to begin the process of purchasing a new home, and it has come to my attention that the late notation from [credit card company] may prevent me from taking full advantage of the best interest rates available. Since that notation does not reflect my current status with [credit card company], I am requesting that you please give me a second chance at a positive credit rating by revising those tradelines. I sincerely hope that there is redemption at [credit card company], and I plead for such consideration.
If any additional documentation would assist in reaching a positive outcome please feel free to contact me.
I thank you again for the time you have spent reading this correspondence.
Very hopefully yours,