Whether you struggle to make timely payments or miss a due date, late payments drop your credit score. Not only do late payments adversely affect your score, but they stay on your credit report for years. But are you stuck with a negative mark if you ran into a temporary hardship or lost track of the due date? Keep reading to find out how to remove late payments from your credit report.
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Is it possible to remove late payments from a credit report?
If you are willing to invest the time, you may be able to remove late payments from your credit report. You should expect to make phone calls, send letters, or both to your lender. While there is no guarantee, the lender may be willing to remove late payments if you remain persistent.
How late payments on credit reports can affect your score
Credit reporting agencies consider payment history the most influential factor when calculating your credit score. Payment history can make up to 35% of your credit score. Delinquent payments can drastically reduce your credit rating. Even if you are only late once, your credit score could drop up to 100 points.
Tips for removing late payments from credit reports
Whether you have cash-flow problems or forgot to pay your bill, below are some tips for removing late payments from your credit report.
Check for mistakes
Review your credit report for late payments. If any overdue payments appear in your report, verify them against your records to see when they were paid. If you suspect an error, you can dispute late payments on your credit report with the lender and the credit reporting agency.
Call your lender
If you suspect a payment was erroneously reported as late, call the lender ask to have it removed. You may need to escalate your request to a manager or direct your request to a specific department that can approve your request.
Explain your situation
You could also write your request and send it to the lender. If the payment was reported late in error, include any proof supporting your case.
Even if you sent your payment late, putting your request in writing allows you to explain the situation. Perhaps your overdue payment was nothing more than an oversight. If you consistently pay your bills on time, the lender may accommodate your request to remove the late payment mark from your report.
Or if you encounter a hardship, such as a medical condition or natural disaster, the lender may be willing to update your payment status.
Even if you get turned down, consider calling or writing again. Late payment removal may be possible with a different representative.
What to do if you can’t remove a late payment from your credit report
Late payments remain on your credit report for up to seven years. If you have tried removing a late payment, but the lender will not budge, consider taking the following steps to improve your score.
Work to rebuild your credit score
You can take some definitive steps to rebuild your credit score.
- Make sure you are timely with your other bill payments.
- When you are behind on payments, make a plan to get current on your delinquent accounts
- If you struggle to make your payment on time, it is helpful to talk with the lender. When contacted ahead of time, some lenders may be willing to offer help so you can stay current on your account.
- Open a secured credit card. You will be asked to send a deposit for a secured credit card. By making timely payments each month, your payment history improves. Plus, the issuer may bump up your credit limit with a good payment history.
Seek out financing solutions with low credit requirements
Lenders don’t want to lose money when they extend financing. If your credit score isn’t high enough to give them that assurance, you may still be able to get financing by securing your loan with collateral. If you can make a bigger deposit or use your property, you may be able to secure a loan with a lower credit score.
Consider a credit builder loan
Take out an installment loan to help rebuild your credit. Establishing a history of on-time payments can raise your credit score over time. To avoid falling behind, make it a point to mail in your payments early or have your payments automatically deducted from your bank account each month.
Wait to apply for financing until your credit score improves
If you don’t need immediate funding, stop applying for credit until your score improves. Instead, you can use this time to rebuild your credit.
You can realize a few benefits when you wait to apply for financing until your score improves. A higher score makes it easier to get credit. A healthier credit score can also land you a better interest rate.
Dispute late payments and improve your credit score
Late payments are negative marks that can stay on your credit report for up to seven years. Not only can a history of delinquent payments drop your credit score, but you could end up paying a higher interest rate and fees.
If you are late for your payments because you have accidentally missed a due date or have fallen into difficult times, you should actively try to remove late payments from your credit report.
Can I get late payments removed from my credit report?
You may be able to get late payments removed from your credit report when you contact the lender or file a dispute with the credit reporting agency.
How many points can a late payment drop your credit score?
A late payment could drop your credit score by up to 100 points.
How far back do lenders look at late payments?
Your credit report can show past-due payments for up to seven years. But your lender may consider only the last few years of your payment history to decide whether it wants to loan you money.