A big part of credit repair involves putting items in your credit report. The more negative items you can remove from your credit report, the easier it will be to increase your credit score.
Clean your credit repair with good letters
Unfortunately, removing negative items is not always easy, especially when these negative items are accurately reported.
The credit report dispute process works when there are negative items in the credit report that should not be there.
For example, you could dispute accounts other than yours or items that have passed the credit reporting deadline. However, disputing accurately reported information is usually unsuccessful because creditors verify this information and credit bureaus do not remove it from your credit report.
If you still owe a balance in a negative account, you may be able to negotiate that it was removed from your credit report in exchange for paying your balance. This strategy is called “pay to delete.”
Once you have already paid the debt, you have no payment to use as leverage to remove it from your credit report. Instead, you can use a goodwill letter to request that you remove the credit report entries you have already paid for.
What is a Goodwill Letter?
A goodwill letter is a letter you send to your creditors asking them to remove or stop reporting negative information from your credit report as a goodwill issue.
Creditors are not required to remove accurate information from your credit report unless the information is incorrect. However, if you have some isolated delays in the middle of a non-compete credit history, some creditors will be nice to remove (or stop reporting) the delays.
Like any letter you send to creditors, your letter of goodwill should be short and simple.
The country you want to update, mention a positive payment history, briefly describe what caused the omissions of those payments, and ask for your credit report to be updated as a courtesy. Keep your tone pleasant and polite and avoid accusing or blaming creditors.
Please send your goodwill letter to the creditor’s address listed on your credit report or recent billing statement. Make sure you use a correspondence address, not the address you would send the payment to. Use certified mail to confirm that your letter has been created. If the credit report does not have an address, or if you do not receive a response within 7 to 10 business days, look for another address on the creditors website.
After receiving a letter of goodwill, some creditors will update your credit report. Others will say that they cannot legally remove information from your credit report. The myFICO forums include several successful letters of goodwill. These letters typically require creditors to make “goodwill adjustments” instead of asking creditors to remove negative information. (Removing negative information often violates creditors’ agreements with credit bureaus.)
Letter Vs. phone call
You can also request a goodwill by phone instead of sending a letter, but more often than not, customer service reps who answer the phone are not authorized to make these types of changes to your account. If you can get a phone call to someone who is a senior in the company, you are more likely (but not 100%) to get an approved request.