How Goodwill Letters May Remove Negative Credit Report Items

FEB 16, 2012

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Late payments or other derogatory information on your credit report may be lowering your credit score, but in some case, a goodwill letter to your lender may remove negative credit report information. So before you let a small mistake have a negative impact on your credit score for the next few years, discover how goodwill letters may remove negative credit report items.

Negative Credit Report Items
Minor oversights can have a costly effect on the credit you worked so hard to establish, but some lenders may be more forgiving with responsible borrowers than you think. If you have a strong credit history and make a late payment or exhibit another negative credit behavior, your creditor may consider removing negative marks when you write goodwill letters.

What is a Goodwill Letter?
A goodwill letter is when you write a letter to your lender, asking them to consider removing negative information they have reported to your credit report. Goodwill letters should be respectful, should acknowledge your mistake, confirm that the information the lender reported is accurate, but should request the lender remove the negative mark from your credit report.

Facts About Goodwill Deletions
Goodwill deletions occur when your lender agrees to expunge the negative information from your credit report. However, before you start counting your chickens, it is important to understand a few facts about goodwill deletions:

  1. Goodwill deletions are rare; removing these marks costs the lender a lot of time and money and are often denied.
  2. Goodwill letter approvals are reserved for customers with a positive payment history; habitually submitting late payments will likely result in your request being denied.
  3. Goodwill deletions only apply to small mistakes; submitting a payment a few days late may qualify, while seriously delinquencies will likely remain on your credit report.

How Can I Request a Goodwill Deletion?
You can request that your lender remove negative information from your credit report by writing a letter to your creditor or contacting your lenders customer service department to request a goodwill deletion. When requesting that a late payment item be removed from your credit report, be sure to pay the past due amount before making your request.

When your request for the removal of negative items is approved, it is important to check your credit report  to ensure that the item has indeed been eliminated. Although goodwill letters may remove negative credit report items, remember that it is ultimately your responsibility as the borrower to avoid late payments.

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This article is provided for general guidance and information. It is not intended as, nor should it be construed to be, legal, financial or other professional advice. Please consult with your attorney or financial advisor to discuss any legal or financial issues involved with credit decisions.

Published by permission from, Inc., an Experian company. © 2014, Inc. All rights reserved.