How to Delete Late Payments From a Credit Report

Unless you’re independently wealthy, you’ll have to use credit now and again to make purchases

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If you don’t have a good credit score, you’ll have a much tougher time getting loans when buying a house or a vehicle, or getting a credit card.

It’s essential if you want to enjoy the things that life offers that you have a good credit score. Traditionally, a credit score above 700 is considered good and means you’re more likely to be approved for loans and credit cards with favorable interest rates than you would if you had bad credit. 

Of course, you can look for help from companies offering credit repair in Austin, Texas, if you need guidance finding ways to delete late payments and boost your credit score.

There are a variety of factors that go into your credit score, including:

  • Payment history

  • The amount you owe

  • Types of credit (i.e., loans, credit cards, retail accounts, etc.)

  • Length of credit history

However, of all of those, payment history is the number one factor that affects your credit score. In this article, we’re going to look at how late payments impact your credit score and how to improve your score.

Late Payments and Credit

It can’t be overstated that late payments are the quickest way to ruin your credit score. According to Equifax, “If you miss a payment on one of your credit accounts, be it a credit card, mortgage, or other loans, you could see your credit score drop.”

Keep in mind that each credit reporting agency is different in how it scores, but all of them penalize a person for late payments. While a late payment will ding your credit score, it’s not all gloom and doom. Credit reporting agencies look at several factors regarding late payments, such as how late they are and if there’s a history of late payments, or if this was a one-time issue.

For example, if your payment is ninety days late, it will be a bigger mark on your credit score than if you’re only thirty days late–the longer your bills go without being paid, the worse your score will get. So, it’s vital that if you do miss a payment, you make it as soon as possible. Missing a payment by one or two days won’t hurt as much, if at all. 

How Much of a Drop Do Late Payments Cause?

It depends on how late the payment is, but according to Credit.com, “a recent late payment can cause as much as a ninety- to one hundred-point drop on a FICO Score of 780 or higher.” This is more than a 10% drop—and could be what pushes you out of the good-credit range and into the fair-credit range. If this happens, it might be more difficult for you to get credit in the future until you get that score back up.

It’s also important to remember that the better your credit is, the more likely you will feel the negative impact of having a late payment on your credit score.

How To Fix Late Payment Credit Scores

Keep track of your credit–this is easy to do if you have access to a smartphone. There are many apps that help you monitor your credit score and alert you when a lender makes an inquiry about your credit or if you have a rise or drop in your score. This way, you will always know where you stand and if you need to make adjustments in your financial situation.

Once you know your credit score, you can take steps to improve it. Become obsessive about making your payments on time, and sign up for auto pay with your accounts if you’re busy or have a tendency to forget about due dates. With autopay, you authorize your lender to deduct funds from your checking or savings account when it’s due without your intervention; this is the best way to ensure your payments are on time.

If you’re concerned about security or don’t feel comfortable giving creditors access to your accounts, you can set up reminders for each bill that tell you when it’s due and that it’s time to pay. Again, if you have access to a smartphone, there are a variety of reminder apps available that will help you keep your bills paid on time.

Another trick is to make your payments every week. Some people find the monthly payment too difficult to manage. Making smaller, weekly payments will keep you up to date and not drain your account so quickly. It’s not uncommon for people to be late with a payment now and again, and while it may negatively affect your credit score, you can fix it by paying as soon as possible and staying on time with future payments.

Ways to Delete a Late Payment History

Late payments on your credit report can be a bit concerning because they may affect your credit score and chances of getting a loan. That said, there are ways to delete them from your credit report.

Write a Goodwill Letter

This is a simple method to remove late payments from your credit report–you only need to write a goodwill adjustment letter and send it to your creditor. This will give you a chance to explain the reasons for not being able to pay on time. A goodwill letter can result in late payments being deleted from your credit report if you have a good reason.

However, removal is not guaranteed because creditors are responsible for giving accurate information to credit bureaus. It can’t hurt to call a creditor and speak to a person; often, you will get an answer much faster than if you wrote a letter or email. This will also let you give a more personal and detailed explanation of what is happening and the reason you were late. If this is your first time making a late payment, you have a much greater chance of success.

Write a Pay for Delete Letter

Sometimes, a creditor offers a service where it will remove the late payment from your record if you pay off the amount owed. To make this happen, you need to write to your creditor and make a Pay for Delete request. 

This is a relatively effective way to wipe a late payment from your record. Keep in mind that although this will delete the late payment from your credit report, it doesn’t remove the missed payment from the primary account.

File For a Credit Dispute

Another way to deal with late payments in your credit report is to file a credit dispute. If there’s any error in your credit report, you can file a dispute with the credit bureau where the credit report was generated.

The first step is sending a dispute letter to the credit bureau where the mistake was reported. In the letter, you need to fully describe the inaccurate information that you’re disputing. Include any documents that can prove the claim is incorrect and request that it be removed from your report.

After sending your dispute letter, creditors usually have thirty to forty-five days to investigate the claim. You will be notified of the results of the investigation when it’s finished. If the credit bureau agrees with your claim, they will remove the late payment from your credit report.

How Do Late Payments Affect Your Credit Score?

Missing a payment will cause your credit score to drop. If you’re late by thirty days or more, you may have up to one hundred points deducted from your credit score. Even a single late payment is enough to ruin your credit rating. Payment history is crucial to your credit score, so be sure to pay your bills on time.

In Summary

Late payments may cause your credit scores to drop and leave a dark mark on your report. Fortunately, there are ways you can remove late payments from your credit report, but if you need further assistance, be sure to solicit the help of a reliable credit repair company, like The Phenix Group.

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