By Emily Kalan, Crediful
In 2020, most people have countless monthly expenses, and it can be too easy to miss a payment.
Missing repeated payments can be extremely damaging to your credit score, which can reduce your chances of being accepted for loans and credit cards.
It can happen to the best of us, and thankfully, it’s not the end of the world. There are ways you can remove late payments from your credit report – keep reading to find out how.
How late payments affect your credit score
In this day and age, it’s pretty much impossible for the average person to not have regular payments to make. There are car payments, mortgages, bills, credit cards — and one late payment can cause a big drop in your credit score.
If it’s just a one-off, it’s not too bad – as it’ll have less of an effect on your credit score as time goes by, until it eventually just drops off. However, the larger the point drop, the longer it will take — and one recent late payment can cost you up to 110 points.
As long as it’s still on your report, any potential creditors will be able to see it. Whether it be 30 days, 60 days, 90 days, or 120+ days late, your credit score is going to suffer — and the later your payment, the more your credit score is going to be affected.
A late payment can remain on your credit score for up to seven years, which sounds daunting — but it’s important to remember that the effect will decrease over time.
Many people believe that while the late payments are still on your report, you won’t be accepted for a loan, mortgage, or credit card — but this is wrong. Your credit score will gradually increase along with your chances of being accepted for credit.
How do I remove late payments from my credit report?
Seven years is a very long time for bad credit to be hanging over your head — even if you build up your credit score to a decent level, your potential creditors will be able to see your payment history.
Thankfully, you can get late payments removed from your credit report.
One of the most effective ways of removing a late payment is to ask for a gesture of goodwill. This is as simple as calling your credit provider and explaining your situation. However, this method is only really effective if you have a good history and relationship with your creditor.
This is generally a successful method, as at the end of the day, customer service advisors are humans too, and understand that nobody is perfect. They don’t want to close your account over one disagreement, so providing you have a good history with them, they will most likely grant you a gesture of goodwill.
Another way that you could potentially get your late payments removed is by setting up a payment plan with your creditor. This is essentially a win-win for both parties — your credit rating isn’t affected, and the creditor is guaranteed their money.
This attempt will be more successful if you can prove you’ll be able to make the payments. Usually, automatic payments are preferred — and it’s always beneficial if you can prove you have regular credits into your account.
If you’re still not getting anywhere, then don’t be afraid to get a professional involved. There are countless credit repair companies out there that offer their services for a low fee, and they do what it says on the tin: help to repair your credit score.
They can help with more than just the late payments — if you have any other negative items on your report, then a credit repair company can help solve that for you too.
Can I dispute the late payment?
Long story short — yes, you can dispute your late payment, but it won’t be a quick process. You’ll need to liaise directly with the credit bureaus, which can be both time-consuming and frustrating.
First, you need to search your credit report for any inaccuracies. Check the dates and the amounts of each individual payment to make sure they’re all correct. If you find anything that doesn’t add up, then you have grounds for a dispute.
Send a letter to each credit bureaus that lists the information — and check the information on each report. Either call up their customer service line or write a letter to them to dispute the payment. The creditor must get back and verify the information, and if they don’t, it’ll be removed within 30 days.
For a more in-depth look at how to remove late payments, head on over to Crediful to see their recent article on four ways to get late payments removed from your credit report.