If you’ve ever gotten an insufficient funds fee or a over-the-limit penalty fee or a late payment penalty fee, you probably have tried to get it removed by asking nicely. My wife is really good at this, she could probably sweet talk a Citi CSR into giving her a refund and a bouquet of flowers for the hassle of calling them up! Whether you’re nice like my wife or simply good at pointing at the financial benefits of keeping you as a customer (that’s how I roll… d20 save vs. financial realities sucka), you can employ this strategy in a vareity of places… including your credit history.
If you have some legitimate negative items (late payments) on your credit history, you might be able to get them removed by using a Goodwill Adjustment Letter. Some companies won’t report 30-day and 60-day late payments, it’s really not worth it, but if you review your report and see some late payments, you might be able to use a Goodwill Adjustment Letter to get those things removed.
While you could try this for any negative items, it’s most effective for negative items that are a year old or more. It’s important to show that those late payments were an aberration and that you’ve improved your finances such that it won’t happen again.
Goodwill Adjustment Letter Template
[Company Name, Department]
I understand that you’re extremely busy but I hope you can find time to consider this request for me. I have been a [Company Name] customer since [Year] and during that time, I have enjoyed my experience with your company.
I am contacting you to see if you would be willing to make a “goodwill” adjustment to your reporting to the three credit agencies. I have [Number] late payments on the above referenced account that date back [Number] months. Since that time I have been an exceptional customer paying every month on time.
Because of my overall exceptional payment history with your company over the last [Number] years, I would like you to consider removing the negative payments from my credit report. I have been a very happy customer in the past and hope to continue a long relationship with [Company Name].
I look forward to your reply.
Making A Case
The template, while a good starting point, can’t be all that you write. It’s important to build a case to the company as to why they should adjust your report. If you can explain away some of the late payments, it will go a long way to convincing them to do it. For example, if you were a college student and simply careless, say that. If you were lost your job or moved, let them know. If the majority of your lates were of the 30 day variety, tell them that too.