How to Remove 30-day Late Payments from Your Credit Report
This article will teach you my proprietor 3 step process of how I remove 30-day late payments from credit reports. I’ve perfected this method over the last 20 years as a credit and personal finance advocate while dealing with every possible scenario and just about every creditor out there.
I’ve written this article for people that can’t afford my paid services and want the DIY (Do it yourself) method of removing late s payments from a credit report.
So here is what the process entails if you want to know how to remove late payments from credit report:
Step 1. Discovery of facts (why you were reported late)
Step 2. Identification of errors (what circumstances caused the late payment on your credit report)
Step 3: Engagement with the creditor (strategically arguing and escalating your case)
Step1: Make a thorough discovery of how the late payment occurred
It’s important to see what exactly happened. First, if available, start with looking over the account statements, identify when was the payment due and when was it finally made. Make sure was it a missed payment, or a payment that bounced,. Sometimes the payment could be marked late (normally with a different symbol or code as on-time payments) because the payment made was not enough to cover the minimum amount. You may need to look at your statements or call the creditors to find out the following:
- When payment was due, and what was the amount
- When was the payment finally made
- Was there a bounced payment, or was the payment not enough to cover the minimum payment due
Next, you’ll need to identify what errors or mistakes were made that led to the late payment
Step 2A: Identify any mistakes made by the creditor
Below is a list of common mistakes creditors make that lead to consumers being late on the account. Check if any of these apply to your case, you may need to call the creditor to confirm:
- The creditor applied an annual/monthly fee to your account which led to the late.
- You were locked out of online access to the account or the creditor’s system was down.
- The creditor had the wrong spelling of your address or a missing apartment #.
- The creditor failed to update their system to your new mailing address or email address that you had provided before
- The creditor’s phone rep took down your wrong bank account info when processing your payment.
- The auto payment you had set up was canceled without you knowing.
- There was an interest charge incurred after you thought you had paid off the account in full.
- Charges were made to your card that was not authorized or were of a fraudulent nature.
- You had prior setup a deferment with the creditor due to Covid or a natural disaster and the creditor still marked you late.
- You made a payment on time and the creditor failed to post it to your account.
In the event you do find a mistake as described above, then ask the creditor for a courtesy removal of the late payment, since they’re required to report accurate information to the bureaus. If they agree to remove the mistakenly reported late payment, request a letter stating they are removing the incorrect late payment from the credit report.
Clarify that you want the late payment removed from the credit report and that you are not referring to its corresponding penalty fee (or for example an increase in the interest rate) that may have been incurred.
Normally, if the creditor agrees to remove the late payment they will update the account history on the credit report themselves. Bank of America, American Express, Citibank, and Wells Fargo often update accounts and the credit report within a couple of weeks.
Additionally, I’ve found that credit cards like Capital One, Synchrony Bank, Macy’s Credit (DSNB), Bloomingdales, Comenity Bank, and American Express are more likely to bow to courtesy requests on the phone if you can argue for partial negligence on the creditor’s part.
On the contrary, big banks and credit card companies like Wells Fargo, US Bank, Discover Bank, First Premier, Credit One, Citibank, Prosper marketplace, Green Dot, Moneylion, Elan Financial, and Ally Financial may be swayed to remove a late payment from a credit report.
But it would take some convincing. For auto loan lates, companies like Chrysler Financial, Santander USA, and Hyundai Motor Finance would take some work as well.
Mortgage companies like Newrez Shellpoint, Nationstar Mortgage, Specialized Loan Servicing, United Wholesale Mortgage (UWM), the Money Store, and Loan Depot claim on the phone they don’t remove late from a credit report, but if you push hard enough, you can get them to change their position.
Next watch this video before moving on to the next step:
Step 2B: Identify any extenuating circumstances or errors that led to late payments
If you can prove that a third-party mistake or some extenuating circumstances led to the late payment AND it was not due to your financial inability to pay, then you’re in luck. If you can prove this, you can file a dispute with your credit card issuer and have them cancel the charge.
But beware, creditors will never remove a late payment from a credit report due to financial hardship or job loss.
However, if you can show documented proof of the extenuating circumstances that led to the late payment along with a copy of a bank statement showing a healthy balance of a few thousand dollars, then creditors may agree to remove late payments under the following circumstances:
Examples of Extenuating Circumstances or 3rd party errors:
- You traveled while statements were being sent to your home.
- You were hospitalized or suffering from emotional trauma.
- There was a death or emergency in the family.
- Your bookkeeper or accountant forgot to render payment.
- You had set up automatic payments through your bank, which encountered an error.
- Your email was hacked where you get e-statements, or the creditor’s emails ended up in spam.
- Your paper statements and mail was being stolen.
- You had submitted a double payment the month prior, mistakenly thinking it would cover the next month.
- Your town was subjected to a natural disaster.
If you are able to prove a scenario like the one listed above, you will need to ask for the address, fax, or email of the creditor’s “Credit Bureau Department,” to whom you’ll fax this information for review.
Once they receive your information, will review your case and get back to you within 2-4 weeks with their decision.
But you may say “I’ve already tried this and the creditor has simply stonewalled me. What do I do?”
Move to step 3
Step 3A- Engage the Creditor’s Executive Resolutions Department or Credit Bureau Department:
If your first correspondence or call has not worked, then that means you are likely in for the long haul. The next phase here would be to go up the chain of command.
A) Engaging Executive Resolutions Department:
Macy’s, Barclays, Synchrony, Discover, Bank of America, and Capital One all have executive resolution departments. If they don’t allow you to speak to the Executive Resolutions Department, then mail your complaint to their corporate office by certified mail, with attention to their CEO.
Once you have sent the letter explaining everything, it normally takes around 30 or so to get a response.
B) Lodging a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Complaint:
At this stage, you can lodge a complaint with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) against the creditor. If it’s a credit union you’re dealing with then you’ll need to file a complaint with the National Credit Union Association. Or here if it’s an education-related debt.
Now, if the late payment did not occur due to the creditor’s negligence or fault, then the complaint cannot be made under the premise that the creditor acted illegally and violated your rights under the FCRA (Fair Credit Reporting Act). You can instead argue in the complaint that the creditor is acting “unfairly.”
Here is how the complaint works:
Step 1: You lodge your complaint against the credit
Step 2: The CFPB will forward your complaint to the creditor for a response.
Step 3: The creditors usually respond within 15 days.
Step 4: If the creditor does not respond favorably, the CFPB allows you to submit your feedback.
However, if you’re lucky, the creditor responds and states they agree to remove the late payment from your credit report. In this case, they will update your credit report within 30 days.
Now, if your case is not strong enough, it is likely that they deny your request. Unfortunately, creditors often can brush aside such requests and stick to their position.
In my experience, large banks such as Bank of America, American Express, Santander, Citibank, and GM Financial normally don’t budge with regulatory complaints. Legal action is very often required for these creditors. That is why I have devised and utilized Step 3 with tremendous success.
Step 3B – Filing a small claims lawsuit or arbitration case against the creditor
Finally, if the first three steps do not yield results, I often help my clients file a small claims suit. Also depending on the creditor sometimes arbitration is a viable solution as well
Here’s what’s great about this; I have seen many judges rule in a consumer’s favor if they can prove wrongdoing by the creditors.
Research your state’s civil code to see what violations were committed pertaining to credit reporting. Also check for breach of contract, or unfair business practices.
Small claims court also requires consumers to show monetary damages. Proof of monetary damages could include documentation that a consumer was turned down for credit. It could also be that they received unfavorable financing terms due to the specific late payment.
Something to remember when trying to remove remarks from credit reports via legal action…Simply filing a suit will not make the creditor buckle.
The case has to be strong and well-documented. What you may find surprising is, that even in the event the creditor does not show up to court, the judge will still look at the merits of the case and rule accordingly.
I normally recommend hiring an experienced professional or attorney if you are going to go down this path.
This is due to the complexities involved with filing and winning a small claims case to erase your late payment,
I do offer a free consultation to determine if legal action is the right course for you to remove a late payment from a credit report.
Will a credit bureau dispute remove a late payment?
A credit bureau dispute will not remove recent late payments, although there’s a small chance it may remove a very old late payment (4 years old) on a closed account.
A lot of misguided credit repair “experts” encourage consumers to dispute recent lates, claiming you’ll get a deletion “if the creditor does not respond within 30 days.”
In reality, this is one of the biggest mistakes you can make.
Why? Simply put, technology.
Today, all the credit bureaus have modernized their systems and switched to automatic dispute verifications where they correspond with the creditor via their data exchange interface, E-Oscar. (Learn more about what credit bureaus are and how they work)
Hence, unlike in the older days, no phone calls or handwritten communication is exchanged between credit bureaus and creditors.
This interface verifies millions of accounts that are disputed by consumers every month in a matter of minutes.
It does so by simply cross-referencing databases of the major consumer credit bureaus and creditors.
How to dispute old late payments on closed accounts with credit bureaus:
However, credit bureau disputes may work with a minor degree of success for one type of late payment:
A very old late payment on an account that’s been closed for at least 4 years or longer.
Generally, a dispute like this for a very old closed account with lates can yield a 30 % success rate.
They can also be effective for questionable older collection accounts and charge-offs if you utilize the dispute the right strategy.
Can a late payment be removed from a credit report if it was caused by the Covid-19 pandemic & shelter in place orders?
It is possible for a lender to remove a late under the CARES ACT if you had a late payment for the month of February 2020 or after that
The economic fallout from the coronavirus has caused lenders to make exceptions for those who suffered a loss of income or health complications as a result of the pandemic.
If you found yourself in this situation, the first step would be to simply call the creditor and see if they’ll be able to issue a courtesy removal of the late payment. They may ask you to prove your loss of income or health complications.
Some creditors have guidelines that state that late payments can only be removed if you called before you fell behind and asked for a deferment.
Read our article about how to address and remove Covid-19 related late payments.
However, lates incurred prior to February 2020, even when sent as a goodwill letter, will not qualify for goodwill deletion under the Covid-19 pandemic situation. In that case, you’ll likely need professional help.
How long does it take for your Fico Score to recover from a late payment?
Although the late payment will stay on your credit report for 7 years, I’ve seen consumers get back about 50% of the lost points in about 2 years’ time, and from then on its a slow progress to get the remaining 50% of the lost points.
To give you details, once you get current on a recent late account, you can expect a 10-15 point increase.
You’ll also see some bumps to the score at the 6-month period and the 18-month period.
Also in addition to these milestones, the score will organically increase by 1-2 points monthly, as long as you keep current on the rest of your credit accounts.
What I always recommend to rebuild your credit score is to avoid additional late payments by trying to send payments several days early to prevent any possible issue.
How does a 30, 60, or 90-day late payment affect your credit score?
If you have good credit scores in the high 600s or over 700, then a recent late will impact you much more than if you had a score lower than 600.
If someone’s never been late before or had no late payments for several years, then a recent late payment can drop their 700 plus Fico credit score by as much as 80 points.
And a 60 to 90-day late would drop the score by 100 to 120 points!
This is regardless of whether it was a $10 payment missed or a $10,000 payment missed, Fico does not differentiate between the two.
What’s most heartbreaking is I’ve seen people with millions of dollars of credit paid on time, and a $2 missed payment ends up destroying their credit score.
Now, on the contrary, consumers with a 550 credit score (who already had multiple other negative accounts), have their score drop by 20-30 pts due to a new late.
Basically, the higher your score is, the bigger drop you’ll experience from a recent late payment.
How long does a late payment stay on your credit report?
The late payment will become part of your credit payment history (or credit history), probably the most significant factor of your FICO score, and stay on your credit report for up to seven years.
That’s up to seven years struggling to get new credit or facing higher interest rates.
The seven years start from the time the late payment was incurred and not from the time the account was started.
Will paying off or closing the account remove the late payment from the credit report?
Unfortunately no, even paying off or closing the credit account will not remove the late payment any sooner. You can call and offer to pay the account, but the so-called ‘pay for deletes’ only works with a paid collection account. I always advise against closing accounts, since that may end up dropping the credit score further.
When does a late payment reported to the credit bureaus?
Here are scenarios of payment due dates and when one could be marked late:
For Payment due date: June 1
If payment is made: June 10th (you will not be marked late, since it is not 30 days past due)
If payment is made: June 29th (you will not be marked late, since its not 30 days past due)
If payment is made: July 1st (you will be marked 30 days late since payment is now exactly 30 days past due)
Will my bank remove my late payment?
So every creditor has different internal policies. As a rule of thumb, you’ll find that with store credit cards you may be able to get deletions on the phone. Whereas mortgage companies require more elbow grease to remove late payments.
Eg. Honda Finance will remove a late payment if you can show proof of medical hardship, whereas Toyota Motor Finance won’t.
Below is a list I’ve compiled using data over the last 20 years of my dealing with creditors, which rate creators from easy to difficult when it comes to removing late payments.
A Creditor that removes late payments (Easy):
- Ally Financial
- Applied Bank
- Capital Bank
- Celtic Bank
- Chrysler Financial
- Credit Acceptance
- Citibank / Citi Card
- Comenity Bank (store cards)
- Credit One
- Discover Bank / Discover Financial
- DSNB (Department Stores National Bank)
- Elan Financial
- First Hawaiian
- First Premier
- Genesis FS Card Services
- GM Financial / Americredit Finance
- Honda Financial / American Honda Finance
- Hyundai Financial / Hyundai Motor America
- Kia Financial
- Manufacturers and trader
- Mercedes Benz Financial (MBZ Financial)
- Money Lion
- OneMain Financial
- Regional Acceptance Corp
- Rise Credit
- Specialized Loan Servicing (SPS)
- Santander USA
- Synchrony Bank (store cards)
- Wilshire Consumer
- United Consumer Financial
- US Bank
- Westlake Financial
- Loan depot
Creditors which require effort to remove late payments : ( Medium Difficulty )
- Affirm Inc
- Applied Bank
- American Express
- Caliber Home Loans
- Credit Unions (any one of them)
- BM Harris
- Capital One
- Ford Motor Credit (FMCC)
- Fifth Third Bank
- Flagstar Bank
- Freedom Mortgage
- Goldman Sachs
- Merrick Bank
- Net Credit
- Nationstar Mr. Cooper
- Nissan Motor Credit
- Newrez (Shellpoint Mortgage)
- PennyMac Mortgage
- Porsche Financial
- PNC Bank
- Southeast Toyota / World Omni Financial
- Toyota/Lexus Financial
- Truist Bank
- Upstart Network
- Upgrade Inc
- Wells Fargo Bank
- United Wholesale Mortgage (UWM)
Creditors that rarely remove late payments : (Most Difficult)
(these are creditors we don’t work with):
Bank of America (unless it’s a credit card 30-day late within the last 13 months)
Chase credit card
Chase Auto loan
JP Morgan Chase Bank
Volkswagen (VW Credit)
TD BANK (unless auto loan )
OTHER CREDITORS NOT MENTIONED ABOVE :
If your creditor is not listed above, reach out to me by email at [email protected] to find out about the difficulty involved in removing the late.
In Conclusion…Things to keep in mind when removing a 30-Day Late Payments
If the above steps don’t work,
Then you may need legal and professional help
Over the last 20 years, I have helped my clients remove hundreds of late payments from their records.
Reach out if you’d like to see if I can help you too!
Click the link below for a consult or for questions email me at [email protected]