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Late payments are derogatory marks on your credit reports that could hurt your credit. If there’s an incorrect late payment on your credit reports, you can file a dispute with the creditor or the corresponding credit bureau to try and get the mark removed.
But if the former payment is correct, you should know you probably won ’ thymine be able to get rid of the derogative crisscross before its time .
here ’ s how to ask a credit agency to remove inaccurate late-payment marks — and what you can do if they ’ re not a mistake .
Review your credit reports
regularly reviewing your credit rating reports from the three major consumer credit agency — Equifax, Experian and TransUnion — could help you spot something is amiss, such as a mistakenly reported late payment .
A late payment is normally associated with a credit account. Depending on which accredit chest of drawers provides the accredit report with the late payment listed, it may be highlighted in some direction ( say with a different symbol or code than you see for on-time payments ). And depending on the credit agency, your reports may besides indicate how former the requital was .
Because your credit reports may not be identical, it ’ s significant to review your reports from all three of the major consumer accredit agency .
Look for late payments that are incorrect or old
If you see a late payment associated with one of your accounts, check it out carefully. There are a number of possibilities for mistakes. here are a few .
You paid the bill on time, but it was reported as late anyway
If you see a deep payment but you think you paid on time, it could be a mistake. In this case, try to verify that you did, in fact, pay the circular on time. You could do this by reviewing statements from the score you used to pay the circular and the explanation that ’ second showing a deep payment or by checking if you received a payment confirmation .
The late payment occurred more than seven years ago
If a late payment is correctly reported, it should fall off your citation reports after seven years .
Let ’ s say you ’ ve missed a payment by 30 days, then 60 days and then 90 days. even though this one deep bill can lead to multiple negative marks on your credit reports, the original delinquency is the matchless that starts the clock. That means the entire sequence should disappear seven years from the beginning date the payment was belated .
If you see a late requital that ’ sulfur more than seven years old, it could be a mistake, and you may want to dispute it .
Dispute the error
If you find an wrong or old late-payment one of your credit reports, you can file a dispute with the credit rating agency that issues the report card. You can besides dispute the err with the creditor that sent the information to the chest of drawers, such as the lender, credit wag issuer or collections agency.
If you dispute the incorrect belated requital with your creditor, they typically have 30 days to investigate. If the creditor stands by the reported late requital, it won ’ thyroxine remove or update the information. But if it agrees that the information is incorrect, the creditor has to tell the credit chest of drawers to update or remove it. The creditor must besides notify all the recognition agency it sent the information to so that they can update their records .
If you ’ ra disputing immediately with a credit chest of drawers, you should file a dispute with each chest of drawers that has a credit report containing incorrect or outdated information. A chest of drawers normally has 30 days after receiving your challenge to investigate your call .
What if it’s not a mistake?
If you made a late payment and it shows up correctly on your credit reports, your chances of getting it removed are slender .
According to a TransUnion spokesperson, “ If late payment data is indeed accurate and properly reported by a lender, then it can not be removed from a consumer ’ mho report by the credit-reporting agency. ”
You may hear about ways to get an accurately reported late payment removed from your citation reports, but you should know that these methods are credibly a scam .
ultimately, you can avoid ( accurate ) late payments on your credit reports by making sure you pay your bills on time and in entire. One gratuity is to set up automatic pistol payments for your accredit accounts .
If you do pay late and a late payment ends up on your credit reports, you may be stuck for seven years until the late payment falls off. But it ’ s probable that the longer it ’ south been, the less impingement a deep payment can have on your credit, specially if you ’ ve since been working on building your credit with responsible use .
The “goodwill letter”
The first trace you may hear is to write a letter to the creditor explaining why you couldn ’ t make your payment on meter. This is frequently called a grace letter. But creditors are required to report accurate information to the credit agency, so there ’ s no guarantee that they ’ ll update your bill .
If you ’ ve made a late payment and you catch it before it makes it onto your citation reports, try calling your issuer ASAP. You may be able to resolve it with your issuer before it goes any far, particularly if it ’ s the first time you ’ ve missed a payment .
Another method is called “ pay-for-delete. ” Pay-for-delete services are normally offered by debt collectors promising to have a collections account removed from your credit reports, if you pay off the history .
We don ’ metric ton recommend going this route. Creditors are required to report accurate data, so it ’ s not probable that they would agree to remove negative bill information unless the data is wrong. You can save the money and dispute incorrect data yourself .
Plus a pay-for-delete arrangement with a collections agency might, at best, remove the pay collections account from your reports — not the original account or late payments.
Your requital history can be an significant gene in your credit. And late payments can stay on your credit reports for up to seven years .
If you find a late payment in your credit reports that shouldn ’ metric ton be there, you can file a dispute and ask the equate creditor or credit rating chest of drawers to remove the inaccurate information .
About the author: Louis DeNicola is a personal finance writer and has written for American Express, Discover and Nova Credit. In addition to being a contributing writer at Credit Karma, you can find his work on Business Insider, Cheapi… Louis DeNicola is a personal finance writer and has written for American Express, Discover and Nova Credit. In summation to being a contribute writer at Credit Karma, you can find his work on Business Insider, Cheapi… Read more.