The health of your credit score is largely dependent upon your payment history. If your credit report entails one or more late payment, then your score is likely suffering because of it. Why? 35% of your credit score is determined by how timely you pay your bills. Luckily, there are several different approaches you can take to address any existing late payments and get them removed. But first, find out exactly how late payments impact your credit score so you can prioritize your credit repair strategy. Then you can pick the best method for late payment removal.
Late Payments and Your Credit
How do late payments affect my credit score?
Having just ONE delinquent account on your credit report can be devastating to your credit scores. Whether it’s a late car payment, credit card payment, or mortgage payment, a recent late payment can cause as much as a 90-110 point drop on your FICO score. As time goes on, the late payment will affect your credit score less and less until it drops off, but potential creditors can still see that history as long as it’s listed on your report.
Late payments appear on your credit report as either being 30, 60, 90, or 120-plus days late. Each of these degrees of delinquency affects your credit score differently. The later you are, the more damage it does to your credit score. More recent late payments also have a greater impact than older ones.
How many days late before it is reported to credit bureau?
A late payment may be reported to the credit bureaus once it hits 30 days past the due date. Some creditors may not report it at all, especially if you’ve generally been a good client. Others may wait until you close your account to report any late payments. Once you are 90 days late or more, it affects your credit score even more. At this point, it can be turned into a charge-off if the creditor decides to sell the outstanding balance to a collection agency. However, even if you are already 90-plus days late on a payment, it is still a good idea to pay to avoid additional harm in the form of a charge-off, collection, or repossession.
No matter how much you owe, delinquent accounts will affect your credit the same. To the credit bureaus, a late payment of $50 is just as bad as a late payment of $5,000. Knowing this, if you have to make a choice between which bills to pay first, it may be wise to pay the less expensive ones first.
How long do late payments stay on your credit report?
Late payments can stay on your credit report for seven years. However, contrary to popular belief, you do NOT have to wait up to seven years before being able to get a mortgage, car loan or any other type of credit again. Your credit score will steadily rise after time goes on. Even better is that there are several ways to get the late payment permanently deleted. Keep reading to find out how you can dispute late payments and even get them removed from your credit reports.
Getting Late Payments Removed
Can late payments be removed from your credit report?
Yes, late payments can be deleted or updated to “never late” on your credit report. It’s actually quite easy if do it correctly, and you can choose from a few different options. The method you should select depends on your general credit history (aside from the late payment), your relationship with the creditor, and the amount of time or money you’re willing to put towards these efforts. Here is an overview of four ways you can successfully get a late payment removed from your credit report.
Goodwill adjustment: This is an ideal option if you generally have a good payment history with your creditor and have been a customer for a while. By requesting a goodwill adjustment, you can ask the creditor to remove the late payment listing as a gesture of goodwill since you’ve otherwise been a great customer. To do this, simply write a letter to the credit card company or lender and explain your situation. Did you have an unexpected expense arise last month that made you late? Are you trying to perfect your credit score so you can get a mortgage or an auto loan? Include your personal story so that the customer service representative reading your letter gets an idea of why this would be helpful. Many people have success with this method because many creditors don’t want to risk losing your account because of a single late payment disagreement.
Automatic payments: In some instances, a creditor may agree to delete your late payment if you agree to sign up for automatic payments. This provides a win-win for both of you. On your end, you get the negative item removed from your credit report and the convenience of not having to worry about when to pay your bill each month. Your creditor gets the benefit of knowing they’ll receive a timely payment each month. This plan works best if you’ve had trouble making payments in the past, but aren’t significantly delinquent on your account. You’ll have better luck negotiating this deal if you can show that you’re financially able to meet the commitment of automatic payments. It also helps if you’ve overcome whatever financial hurdle held you back from making payments in the past. Like requesting a goodwill adjustment, signing up for automatic payments is also ideal for longer-term customers.
Dispute on your own: If neither of the previous options pan out in getting your late payment successfully removed, it’s time to dispute the item directly with the credit bureau. You can do this if you find any inaccurate information regarding the late payment on your credit report. Check your past statements to make sure that the date, payment amount, and other details are correct. If anything seems off, send a hard copy dispute letter to each credit bureau that lists the late payment. That means you’ll need to check the information on all three of your credit reports: Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. You should get a response about your dispute within 30 business days, which is required by law. This is a good option if you’re tight on cash and can’t afford a professional or if you have the time and inclination to research and execute an effective dispute.
Work with a professional credit repair company: If you’re 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. The best credit repair firms have knowledgeable legal professionals on staff to help you out. They can even help with multiple disputes if you have more negative items on your credit report beyond a few late payments. It’s easy to call for a free consultation just to get an idea of cost and the services they’ll provide you with. Working with a pro is a great idea if you’re short on time, unsure of your own abilities in disputing, and have some buffer room in your budget for this short-term expense.
How can I avoid making late payments in the future?
The best way to improve your credit score is to pay your bills on time. Set up automatic bill pay with your bank, or set your bills up for auto-withdrawal. Many times you can even choose the date you want to have the money taken out to pay your bills.
Read my story below (and check out the photos for proof) to see how you can dispute and remove late payments from your credit report.
Can credit repair really help?
Several years ago, I went through some tough times financially. I became unemployed when my company went out of business. The bills kept piling up and I simply couldn’t make the payments. Things got out of hand, I became desperate and ended up filing for bankruptcy. The financial burden was lifted, but my credit suffered a massive blow.
I knew that bankruptcy would have an impact on my life, but I didn’t know it would be as big as it turned out to be. I couldn’t get a loan from anyone. I had trouble securing lines of credit and was denied on home and auto loans.
Getting my credit back on track
After I told a friend of mine about my issues, he suggested I check out Lexington Law. He said if anyone could help me out it would be them. I didn’t believe him at first, but I was willing to do anything to improve my credit, so I gave them a shot. I researched them online, then gave them a call at 800-220-0084. I spoke to a credit expert who gave me a free consultation. It was nice to talk to someone who cared and wanted to help. I decided to sign up and am still grateful for making that decision. After only a few weeks, I was getting letters from credit reporting agencies saying negative items were being removed from my credit report.
Since then, my credit scores have been improving steadily. Finally, I can get financing on the things I want to buy. Joining up with Lexington Law turned out to be a great decision for me (see below). My credit scores have dramatically improved since there are no longer any negative accounts on my credit report. Here is a snapshot of my credit scores since I signed up with Lexington Law:
“I just wanted to thank you and tell you that your system is going to be able to put me in a home almost two years earlier than I originally expected to. My credit score has jumped over 60 points in the last 6 months to a very respectable level and now when I apply for a mortgage. I will be able to name my price. So file this e-mail in the happy customer section. I will refer anyone with less than perfect credit to your services it has made a world of difference for me! Thanks again!”
— C.R., Lexington client
“I can see that your method really works. I appreciate all that you have done for me so far. Already, I was able to walk into a car dealership, get approved in a matter of minutes, and qualify for a tier 1 rating. I haven’t been tier 1 in years! I also want you to know that I have recommended your services to many of my friends, family, acquaintances and business associates. No matter how careful or diligent you are, you can still end up with blemishes on your credit report. I’m glad that you guys are out there to help remove them.”
— H.M., Lexington client
You can read hundreds of client testimonials and even watch some very inspirational client video testimonials here:
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Lexington Law is now offering $50 off the initial set-up fee when you and your spouse or family members sign up together. The one-time $50.00 discount will be automatically applied to both you and your spouse’s first payment.
Active military members also qualify for a one-time $50 discount off the initial fee.
Ready to Get Started?
Lexington Law successfully disputed and removed over 9 million negative items in 2016; over 1.2 million of them were late payments. They can delete all kinds of negative items from your credit reports, including bankruptcies, foreclosures, repossessions, charge offs, judgments, tax liens, collections, late payments and more. If you’re sick of having bad credit, let the professionals at Lexington Law Firm take care of it for you.
Call 800-220-0084 for a free consultation and a complimentary credit score. You’ll be glad you did!