If you’ve had a late payment reported on your credit report, you know how much it can tank your score.
The good news is that the more time that passes, your credit rating will start to improve.
And with a little time and effort, you may be able to get late payments removed from your credit report entirely.
This article examines the effects late payments have on your score, how long they stay on your report, and how I got 4 late payments removed from my report in a month.
How Long do Late Payments Stay on Your Credit Report?
Late payments are considered a part of your payment history and account for 35% of your overall FICO credit score.
Late payments, just like any other types of account information, will remain on your credit report got a period of 7 years. However, initially, a late payment has a bigger negative impact on your credit score. As it ages, the negative impact decreases month after month.
A single 30-day late pay is something you can recover from in a few months as long as you have established long credit history of paying your bills on time with no late payments. Multiple 30 day late pays or 60 and 90 day late pays will have a more significant impact on your credit score and will take longer recover from.
How I got 4 late payments removed from my credit report and increased my score by 84 points!
All of us may eventually forget to pay a bill on time. I am guilty of this too. A few months ago, I had to get a new bank account because of fraudulent activity. I updated all of my auto pay accounts, or so I thought I did. However, I completely forgot about an online-only store card from Amazon.
I also had an annual fee charged on a credit card I thought was closed, but had an annual fee. I didn’t find out about it until I had a 90-day late payment. So, I contacted the creditor, Capital One. And voiced my displeasure with the 3 late payments, but nothing was done.
A few weeks ago, I decided to try this same advice and removed 4 late payments from my credit report.
One took me all of 5 minutes.
5 days later, I got a letter in the mail stating the late payment would be removed.
The other three were 30,60, and 90 day late payments from Capital One for a credit card I thought was closed but charged an annual fee.
I got all 3 deleted by the credit bureaus a few weeks later.
My credit score skyrocketed! Increasing my scores by up to 84 points on all three Credit Bureaus.
The late payments dropped my credit score by 80 points!
That’s right; my FICO score dropped 80 points! Although I really didn’t care as much as I usually would, I just bought a new house and car. I wasn’t going to be using my credit file again for a while. I knew whenever I needed my credit; I could probably get them deleted.
Before I wrote this article, I wanted to try the methods I posted here to see if I could get my own late payments removed from my credit report.
First, I Contacted the Creditor
I logged into my Amazon store credit card account; I started a chat with customer service. I know I couldn’t actually admit to forgetting to update my linked bank account. So, I told the agent that a late payment was reported to my credit report, and I did not think it was right.
Maybe not the most moral thing I’ve ever done, but I needed to see what would happen. I was told that they would have their department look into it and get back to me with their decision.
After a 2 Minute Chat, They Agreed to Remove the Late Payment
About 5 days after telling Capital One’s customer service department, the late payment was inaccurate; I received a letter in the mail stating that the late payment would be removed from my credit report within 30-60 days. Easy enough. That’s why I suggest contacting the creditor directly is the first and best option you have when it comes to removing late pays from your credit report.
I disputed the other late payments with the credit bureaus directly
I went online and disputed all 3 late payments with all three Credit Bureaus by phone. 30 days later, I got a letter stating the 3 late pays were being deleted as well. I wasn’t done, though; I knew I want my score to be as high as it could be.
Increase your credit score by paying down your credit card debt
I had a credit utilization ratio of 40%. Meaning I was using up 40% of the credit limits on all of my cards. Your credit utilization makes up 30% of your overall FICO score. Only your payment history (35%) has a bigger impact.
You want to keep your balances below 10-15% of your credit limits. This will ensure you’re maximizing your scores. So I paid all my credit card debt down to 0, along with the removed late payments, my score increased by 84 points in just one month! You, too, can have this level of success by doing what I did.
Get collection accounts removed
The two approaches you can take to remove a collection is first, by contacting the collection agency and asking them for a “pay for delete.” This is when you agree to make a payment for the past due amount, and the collection company agrees to remove the account from your credit report entirely. Paying off debt collection accounts that are only reported as paid and not deleted does not improve your credit rating at all.
If the creditor is not willing to work with you, dispute it with the credit bureaus. You will be surprised how often these companies fail to provide the required documentation to the Credit Bureau and is deleted. It’s not uncommon to get a couple of accounts deleted simply by disputing the account.
Three Ways You Can Remove Late Payments from your Credit Report
1. Dispute the Late Payment with the Creditor
Disputing a late payment with the bank or creditor directly is often the most effective. If the late payment is, in fact, an error. You can explain the situation to customer service to investigate. Usually, they will need some time to have a department look into the error and respond.
In most cases, if the error is on the creditors’ behalf, they will refund the late fee and have the late payment removed from your credit report. However, this is not always the case. If they refuse to remove the late payment, you can move on to the next step.
2. Fire a Dispute with the Credit Bureau
You can dispute anything on your report with the three major credit bureaus. The credit bureau must launch an investigation into the disputed account. They will send a request to the creditor asking for validation of the late payment. This is basically what credit repair companies do to increase the client’s credit scores.
If the creditor fails to respond within 30 days, the late payment will be deleted. However, large banks and lenders have departments that handle credit disputes. They are usually very good at responding with all the information the credit bureau needs.
This makes having late payments removed by disputing with the credit bureaus quite difficult. However, it’s not impossible.
3. File a Complaint with the CFPB
The CFPB, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, accepts credit reporting complaints as of September 22nd, 2012. Now consumers have the chance to file complaints against bands and lenders about inaccurate credit reporting on a Federal level.
You can file a complaint against the creditor directly or against the credit bureaus here.
Credit Bureaus Dispute Information
Consumer Dispute Center
P.O. Box 2000
Chester, PA 19016
Phone: 800-916-8800 – 8am-11pm EST
P.O. Box 4500
Allen, TX 75013
Phone: (714) 830-7000
Equifax Information Services LLC
P.O. Box 740256
Atlanta, GA 30374
Phone: (800) 846-5279
Goodwill Letters Don’t Work Anymore
A few years ago, if you were late on an account that otherwise was always in good standing. You could ask customer service to remove the late payments as a one-time courtesy, and sometimes they would. That’s all been ended by the credit bureaus.
A creditor can no longer offer any forgiveness for late payments unless the late payment resulted from an error by the creditor. If you ask a creditor to remove a late payment as an act of goodwill, it will get you nowhere.
In fact, it will be noted you admitted you were late, and it will be much more difficult to have the late pay deleted in the future.
A single 30-day late payment can be detrimental to your credit score and make it more difficult to get approved for a loan. One late payment can drop your credit score up to 75 points.
]These methods will work with credit card accounts, auto loans, mortgage payments, store cards, pretty much on any loan or credit account. The creditor