My FICO logo
Wednesday, December 26, 2018

My FICO logo

Fixing Credit Report Errors: Sample Letter for Filing Credit Report …


9876 5432 1234 5678

  • Log In
  • Support

  • Member Center
  • Support
  • Log Out


  • compare our

    • Credit Monitoring
    • 1 Bureau FICO Scores and Credit Monitoring

    • 3 Bureau FICO Scores, Credit & Identity Monitoring

    • One-Time Reports and Scores
    • 1 Bureau Credit Report and FICO Scores

    • 3 Bureau Credit Report and FICO Scores

  • achieve my

  • Credit Education

  • find my savings &

  • connect with the

Sample Letter of Explanation to Dispute Credit Report


All 3 of the credit bureaus now accept filing of disputes online, with Experian only accepting online submissions. To find out how to initiate a dispute online, click here .
Tell the credit bureau in writing what information you believe is inaccurate. Include copies (NOT originals) of documents that support your position.

You may want to enclose a copy of your credit report with the items in question circled. Send your letter by certified mail, return receipt requested, so you can document that the credit bureau received your correspondence. Keep copies of your dispute letter and enclosures.

Your Name
Your Address
Your City, State, Zip Code

Complaint Department
Name of Credit Bureau
City, State, Zip Code

Dear Sir or Madam:

I am writing to dispute the following information in my file. The items I dispute also are encircled on the attached copy of the report I received.

This item (identify item(s) disputed by name of source, such as creditors or tax court, and identify type of item, such as credit account, judgment, etc.) is (inaccurate or incomplete) because (describe what is inaccurate or incomplete and why). I am requesting that the item be deleted (or request another specific change) to correct the information.

Enclosed are copies of (use this sentence if applicable and describe any enclosed documentation, such as payment records, court documents) supporting my position. Please reinvestigate this (these) matter(s) and (delete or correct) the disputed item(s) as soon as possible.


Your name

Enclosures: (List what you are enclosing)

Related Questions

  • How do I get my free credit report and score from each bureau?

  • What differences on my credit reports should I be concerned about?

  • I recently submitted a dispute to the credit bureaus to have some errors corrected and information updated. Will my FICO® Score automatically increase when these errors are fixed?

  • Can I transfer my credit report from another country to the US credit bureaus?

  • What are inquiries and how do they affect my FICO Scores?

  • How long do inquiries stay on my credit report?

Popular Forum Threads

  • How many inquiries is too much?

  • Is there any way to dispute inquiries online?

  • Can I See My Credit Report Free Of Charge?

  • Credit report freeze and hard pull

Your FICO® Scores can impact your loan interest rates, terms, approvals and more.
Learn more

Read Next

  • Credit reports – know your rights

  • Understanding your credit report


    Understanding your credit report

  • Credit score facts & fallacies

  • What’s in my credit report

  • Free credit reports

Advertiser Disclosure

Featured Credit Card from our partners

Advertiser Disclosure: The credit card
offers that appear on the website are from credit card companies
which myFICO receives compensation. This compensation may impact
how and where products appear on this site (including, for example,
the order in which they appear). The site does not include all
credit card companies or all available credit card offers.

? Credit cards for FICO Score ranges: The score ranges are guidelines based on internal myFICO analysis of actual applicant approvals, and having a FICO Score in a particular range does not guarantee you will be approved for credit cards recommended in that range. These ranges were not provided by any card issuer.

* For complete information, see the terms and conditions on the credit card issuer?s website. Once you click apply for this card, you will be directed to the issuer?s website where you may review the terms and conditions of the card before applying. While myFICO always strives to present the most accurate information, we show a summary to help you choose a product, not the full legal terms – and before applying you should understand the full terms of products as stated by the issuer itself.

  • Credit Help
  • Debt
  • Loans
  • Tips

How Do Goodwill Letters Work?

Template, Tips & What to Include in Your Letter

Home » Credit Help » Remove Late Payments from Your Credit With a Goodwill Letter

Remove Late Payments from Your Credit With a Goodwill Letter

Rick Miller By Rick Miller |

Last Updated on August 3, 2018

Remove Late Payments from Your Credit With a Goodwill Letter

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • Buffer

A “goodwill letter” can be an effective way to improve your credit score , but it needs to be done the right way to have a chance. When you write a goodwill letter, you are essentially asking a creditor for a “break” on a reported delinquency.

The most important thing to remember when writing a goodwill letter is that YOU are ultimately responsible for the delinquency that’s stinking up your credit report. This is not a time to lash out at the creditor or blame anyone else.

In order to have a chance for success, a goodwill letter needs to cite relevant facts in way that can appeal emotionally to the creditor. It’s not enough to present the facts and color them with contexts. You need to tell a story.

I have written several goodwill letters, and I’ve found them to be well worth my time and effort more often than not. In order to increase your odds of obtaining a goodwill adjustment from a creditor that reported you for a late payment , allow me to guide you through some answers to the following useful questions:

We researched & reviewed the 5 best companies in the industry to help you dispute items on your report & improve your credit score.

When Should I Write a Goodwill Letter?

I think it’s always a good idea to send a goodwill letter anytime you have a late payment blemish on your credit report, because there’s no real downside other than a small investment of time and/or resources. The upside, however, is significant. A goodwill adjustment, if granted, can add several points to your credit score.

I would advise giving priority to any reported delinquencies that you can most readily “build a case for.” For example, if you have several reported delinquencies on your student loan account, but only one delinquency on your credit card account that you’ve had for 8 years, you are far more likely to reach a successful outcome with the credit card account.

Don’t be discouraged by certain creditors, like Bank of America, who claim they “ aren’t able to honor requests for goodwill adjustments ” because the Fair Credit Reporting Act requires them “to report complete and accurate information” to the credit bureaus. A quick search of the internet shows that people have had success writing goodwill letters to Bank of America, which is just another reason I always recommend trying.

Back to Top

What are the Key Components of a Goodwill Letter?

It’s important to craft an emotional plea that will get the attention of the lender, and compel them to take favorable action. They know there is value in making customers happy, and if they think it can benefit them, they may be able to find some sort of technicality that could justify making a goodwill adjustment.

I always make sure my goodwill letters adhere to a specific formula. The late Stephen Covey famously advised to “begin with the end in mind,” and in this case the “end” is earning an act of forgiveness from a creditor. That’s an important consideration as you construct the letter.

Since I’m going to end the letter with a humble request for forgiveness, I prefer to start with something friendly and complimentary to put the reader at ease and set a positive tone.

If I’ve enjoyed a long and otherwise successful relationship with the company, I’m always sure to mention that up front. You should always include any and all evidence that can support the narrative that you have a strong track record of being reliable and responsible, as well as the fact that this was a one-time isolated instance that is very unlikely to be repeated.

After the pleasantries, I describe the reason for the letter and accept full responsibility for the error. This is the time to be humble, own your mistake, explain any circumstances that contributed to the late payment, and show equal parts remorse for what happened and determination to ensure it doesn’t happens again. Be specific with any steps taken to prevent future occurrences if possible.

The final part of the letter is where you go for the close. Just acknowledge that mistakes were made, show (don’t tell) how you learned from past mistakes, ask for the goodwill adjustment, and thank them for their consideration.

Back to Top

What Does a Goodwill Letter Look Like?

Now that you know the key ingredients of a goodwill letter, it’s time to put your thoughts on paper. If you’re wondering how best to structure those thoughts, I’m pleased to share a sample goodwill letter that addresses a late payment for a credit card:



<Phone #>

<Creditor Name>

<Creditor Address>


RE: Regarding a Reported Delinquency

To Whom It May Concern,

My name is Rick Miller, and my account number is XXXX-XXXX-XXXX-XXXX. I have been a satisfied customer of [creditor name] for [number of] years.

Your outstanding customer service is the reason I’ve remained a loyal customer, and I’ve always considered it a priority to make all my payments on time. Unfortunately, I fell short of my own standards earlier this year, and I was over a month late with a payment.

I had been carrying a sizable balance for several months when I finally paid off the full balance in February of this year. When I received my statements in March and April, I simply discarded them without even opening them because I assumed they would show a zero balance with no payment due. It never occurred to me that there would be a finance charge from the last month that carried a large balance.

I realize in retrospect that I should have anticipated that finance charge, and I wish I had taken a moment to just open and read those statements. That was a big mistake, and I can assure you it won’t happen again. From now on, I will always open every piece of mail that I receive from you, and I recently opted into email alerts just to provide an added layer of redundancy.

Your records will show that I had never been late with a payment until this unfortunate oversight, and I have been prompt with the past two monthly payments since getting caught up.

As a long-time customer in good standing, I respectfully request that you apply a goodwill adjustment to remove the late payment from my file.

Thank you very much for your consideration,


<Printed Name>

Back to Top

What Makes a Goodwill Letter Great?

An effective goodwill letter will include all the key components we discussed earlier, and they will flow logically from start to finish. The introduction should be an effort to establish a friendly and familiar connection:

  • appreciate the quality products and services they provide
  • value the relationship

In the body of the letter, you should include the relevant facts in context using a relatable story:

  • paid the balance in full, but did not anticipate a finance charge
  • did not check the statements due to inaccurate assumptions about the recent payoff

As you prepare to ask for the goodwill adjustment, highlight any mitigating facts that you think they should consider:

  • was the first late payment on record
  • reestablished timely payments in a reliable and responsible manner

Remember to take ownership of your mistake, and provide any evidence you can think of to support the notion that this was a one-time incident and is not likely to happen again. Show (don’t tell) them that you learned from your mistake.

Avoid faxes and email. Put the letter on professional grade paper with letterhead if possible, and send it through snail mail. This conveys an image of professionalism and makes it clear that you really care about making things right.

If you don’t believe you’re much of a writer or if you’re having trouble thinking through how to make your case, you may want to consider seeking the help of a reputable credit repair company . They have experts who know what strategies work best with various industries, and in some cases, even specific companies. I used one the first time I wrote a goodwill letter, and I was very pleased with the outcome.

Always remember, it’s worth a try. Even if you don’t think you have much of a case, it can’t hurt to give it a shot. You’ve likely been told that showing up is half the battle, and in this case, all you have to do in order to show up is write a letter .

It might work, it might not work. Either way, if you take the time to craft and send a goodwill letter, you’ll feel better about your situation because you’ll know that you’ve done everything in your power to positively impact your financial health.

Back to Top

7 thoughts on “Remove Late Payments from Your Credit With a Goodwill Letter

  1. One late payment, 3 years ago. If a goodwill / forgiveness letter is accepted by a creditor, how long before your credit score is updated?

  2. If a goodwill / forgiveness letter is accepted by a creditor how long before your credit score is updated?

  3. I had an account with Identity which was in arrears for more than a year or so. Due to unemployment, the account resulted into bad standing. The account was closed, on credit bureau with the arrears. Earlier this year I settled the account to the last cent with the collection agency, and I requested a settlement letter, which I got. But the account still reflects on my credit records. I want to know, what can I do to get the account removed or disputed from my credit record as it affects my credit standing?

  4. I have a question please. I had a one time late payment over a year ago in April of 2017 with my mortgage company. This occurred about a month and a half after I had major surgery in February 2017 and was trying to get my finances back in order. I never had any late payments before. I would like to send a Goodwill Letter to them but don’t know exactly to which department. How do I find out which department or person to send it? Also Thank You for your wonderful Goodwill Template.

  5. Great article! I just read on a different site that goodwill letters are not accepted any longer… is this true or has something changed? Either or, I’m using your template and will be sending mine monday.

    1. That is not true. People are still sending them out and receiving a response whether negative or positive. Some companies make the adjustment and some don’t. It does not hurt to try.

  6. I was set up on auto payment with US bank and the system failed to draft a payment, which made me late. I did dispute the late entry on my credit report due to the bank’s error to no avail. I sent out a goodwill letter today, I will let you know how it goes. Thank you for the information.


Leave a Reply Cancel reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed .

Looking for a Reputable Credit Repair Company?

The top 5 credit repair services, ranked & reviewed by Prevent Loan Scams.

See The Reviews

Search: Prevent Loan Scams

Credit Help: Recent Posts

  • how to negotiate with creditors
    Negotiating With Creditors
  • the meaning of derogatory on your credit report
    Derogatory Items on Your Credit Report
  • how to repair your own credit
    How to Repair Your Own Credit (DIY)
  • sample letter for filing credit disputes
    Sample Letter for Filing Credit Disputes
  • Why Are There 3 Different Credit Bureaus
    Why Are There 3 Different Credit Bureaus?
  • how long does bad credit stay on your credit report
    How Long Does Bad Credit Stay On Your Report?
  • credit laws
    Credit Laws: What is the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA)?

Copyright © 2018
Prevent Loan Scams

  • Meet the Editors
  • Sign In
  • Support

You may be located in North Carolina.

Under the North Carolina law, we are unable to sell you Online Forms at this time.
Here are alternative solutions that may help with your DIY needs:

Nolo's Credit Repair Bundle

101 Law Forms for Personal Use

If you still haven’t found what you’re looking for, take a look at our store at .

Request to Creditor to Remove Inaccurate Information

Request to Creditor to Remove Inaccurate Information

Clear up errors on your credit report by going straight to the source: the creditor. Once you’ve completed the letter and asked a creditor to take steps to clean up inaccurate information on your credit report, the creditor must:

  • provide credit reporting agencies with corrected information related to your account, once that correct information is verified
  • notify credit reporting agencies when you dispute information related to your account
  • resolve their inquiry into your dispute within 30 or 45 days

You can save and edit the form before you buy–just create a account. It’s easy, free, and there’s no obligation to buy anything. If you purchase the form, you’ll be able to print, send, or download it.

Loading your form …

Your email was sent!

We seem to be experiencing technical difficulties. Please try again later.

Purchase now to unlock this feature.

To preview your document, click here .



  • Product Details

Product Details

Clean up errors on your credit report right at the source — the creditor reporting the wrong information

You’ve spotted an error on your credit report, asked a credit reporting agency to clear up the problem, and no action has been taken. What now? It may be time to contact the creditor directly.

Nolo’s Letter to Request Removal of Information by Creditor helps you enforce your rights under federal credit laws. Once you’ve completed the letter and asked a creditor to take steps to clean up inaccurate information on your credit report, the creditor must:

  • provide credit reporting agencies with corrected information related to your account, once that correct information is verified
  • notify credit reporting agencies when you dispute information related to your account
  • resolve their inquiry into your dispute within 30 or 45 days

Light a fire under your creditors with a simple request, and get your credit report accurate and up to date.

Additional Technical Support FAQs

Product Details

Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought

Nolo's Credit Repair Bundle

Nolo’s Credit Repair Bundle


101 Law Forms for Personal Use

101 Law Forms for Personal Use


Legal Products

  • Accidents & Injuries

  • Bankruptcy

  • Bestsellers

  • Bills of Sale

  • Business Suite

  • Consumer Protection

  • Criminal Law

  • Debt & Credit Repair

  • Divorce & Child Custody

  • Employment/HR

  • Family & Parenting

  • Free Forms Library

  • Frequently Bought Together

  • Gig Economy

  • Immigration

  • Intellectual Property

  • Landlord-Tenant

  • Legal Research

  • Living Together & Marriage

  • Nonprofit

  • NoloCloud Legal Forms

  • Promissory Notes

  • Real Estate

  • Small Claims & Lawsuits

  • Social Security & Retirement

  • Taxes

  • Wills & Trusts

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Nolo ® Self-help services may not be permitted in all states. The information provided on this site is not legal advice, does not constitute a lawyer referral service, and no attorney-client or confidential relationship is or will be formed by use of the site. The attorney listings on this site are paid attorney advertising. In some states, the information on this website may be considered a lawyer referral service. Please reference the Terms of Use and the Supplemental Terms for specific information related to your state. Your use of this website constitutes acceptance of the Terms of Use , Supplemental Terms , Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy .