A goodwill letter can be used in credit repair to clean up your report. A bad credit report has a lot of negative information that explains what is hurting your credit score. This negative information is what credit issuers will see when they draw up your credit report from the bureaus. This will help them decide if they want to lend to you or not. There are ways you can remove the negative items from your credit report. First, you have to verify the information in your report whether it’s accurate or not. If you notice any error, all you need is to write a dispute letter to the bureau to have it removed. The second option is a ‘pay for delete’, where you negotiate to pay to have the information removed. Another strategy you can use to clean up your report is a goodwill letter.
Clean Up Your Credit Report With A Goodwill Letter
Some negative information on your report takes years to fall off even after you’ve paid off the debt. The only option you can use in this case is a goodwill letter. This is a letter you send to your creditors to request the removal of credit report entries that you’ve already paid. The letter tells your creditors to remove or stop reporting negative information from your credit report as a matter of goodwill. Creditors aren’t obligated to remove accurate information from your credit report unless the information is inaccurate. However, if you have some isolated late payments in the midst of otherwise good credit history, some creditors will be nice and remove (or stop reporting) the late payments.
Like all letters you send to creditors, your goodwill letter should be short and simple. State which accounts you’d like to have updated, mention you’re positive payment history, briefly describe what caused you to miss those payments, and ask that your credit report is updated as a courtesy. Keep your tone pleasant and courteous and avoid accusing or blaming the creditor.
Send your goodwill letter to the creditor’s address listed on your credit report or a recent billing statement. Make sure you use the address for correspondence, not the address to which you’d mail a payment. Use certified mail so you can confirm that your letter made it. If there is no address on the credit report, or if you don’t receive a response in about 7 to 10 business days, look for another address on the creditor’s website.
After receiving your goodwill letter, some creditors will update your credit report. Others will say they cannot legally remove information from your credit report. The myFICO forums include several successful goodwill letters. These letters typically request the creditors make a “goodwill adjustment” rather than outright asking for creditors to remove negative information. (Removing negative information is often in violation of creditors’ agreement with credit bureaus.)
Letter vs. Phone Call
You can also make a goodwill request by phone instead of sending a letter, but more often than not, the customer service representatives who answer the phone don’t have the authority to make these types of changes to your account. If you can get a phone call to someone higher-up in the company, you’re more likely (but not 100%) to get your request granted.