Credit Cards » Credit Card Guides » How to Get Late Payments Removed From Your Credit Report
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How to Get Late Payments Removed From Your Credit Report

Removing a late payment from your credit report is quote difficult, but may be possible in some cases. So what can you do? Here's a guide.
Author: Baruch Mann (Silvermann)
Baruch Mann (Silvermann)

Writer, Contributor

Experience

Baruch Silvermann is a financial expert, experienced analyst, and founder of The Smart Investor.  Silvermann has contributed to Yahoo Finance and cited as an authoritative source in financial outlets like Forbes, Business Insider, CNBC Select, CNET, Bankrate, Fox Business, The Street, and more.
Interest Rates Last Update: April 15, 2024
The banking product interest rates, including savings, CDs, and money market, are accurate as of this date.
Author: Baruch Mann (Silvermann)
Baruch Mann (Silvermann)

Writer, Contributor

Experience

Baruch Silvermann is a financial expert, experienced analyst, and founder of The Smart Investor.  Silvermann has contributed to Yahoo Finance and cited as an authoritative source in financial outlets like Forbes, Business Insider, CNBC Select, CNET, Bankrate, Fox Business, The Street, and more.
Interest Rates Last Update: April 15, 2024

The banking product interest rates, including savings, CDs, and money market, are accurate as of this date.

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Table Of Content

Key Takeaways

  • Most banks and credit card companies will not report anything if the late payment is less than 30 days from the due date. It is also worth noting that a 90-day late payment can be even more damaging for the credit score than just a 30-day late payment.
  • If there is anything in the report which is not true, you have the right to file a dispute with the creditor. Once you file a dispute, the creditor has 30 days to consider the issue and come up with a decision.
  • If the dispute with the creditor fails to bring the desired result, you can file a dispute directly to the credit reporting agency. Those disputes are generally resolved within 30 days.

Your credit score is intended to help lenders understand if you’re going to make a payment on time, which is why a late payment makes a big impact on your score.

What’s important to note, however, is that late payments that don’t belong can definitely be removed. Even better, even if you did make the payment late you may be able to get that payment removed.

Can I Remove Late Patments From My Credit Report?

You can remove late payments if you have an incorrectly reported late payment on your credit report because these can be disputed easily.

If you believe there is an error on your credit report, you have the ability under the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) to dispute it with the credit bureaus for free. Typically, the credit bureau will contact the entity that reported the information and request confirmation of its correctness.

If there’s anything on your report that’s not true, you have the option to file a dispute with the credit reporting agency that’s reporting it. You can also send information about the problem directly to whoever is the creditor for that account to make sure they send accurate information to the reporting bureaus.

Credit reports often contain your personal and credit accounts information - mortgage, loans, payment history etc, including opening and closing days
Credit reports often contain your personal and credit accounts information - mortgage, loans, payment history and opening and closing days

How To Remove Late Payments From Credit Report?

If you missed a payment and it appears on your credit reports appropriately, your prospects of having it deleted are minimal

1. Review Your Credit Report

Checking your credit report for accuracy is an important first step in removing late payments from your credit report. Here's how you can do it:

  • Request a copy of your credit report: You're entitled to a free credit report from each of the three major credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion) once a year. You can request a copy from annualcreditreport.com.

  • Review your credit report: Carefully review the information on your credit report, including your payment history, for errors or inaccuracies.

It's important to note that removing errors or inaccuracies from your credit report may not always result in the removal of late payments. However, ensuring that your credit report is accurate is a crucial first step in improving your credit.

2. Find Errors And Mistakes In Your Report

Late payments can be incorrect in your credit report due to various reasons, including:

  • Payment recorded late: If a payment was made on time, but recorded as late by the lender, it can result in an incorrect late payment being reported on your credit report.

  • Double reporting: In some cases, a single late payment may be reported multiple times by different lenders, resulting in multiple late payment entries on your credit report.

  • Incorrect payment amount: If the payment amount reported on your credit report is incorrect, it may result in an incorrect late payment being recorded.

  • Miscommunication between lenders: Sometimes, a lender may report a late payment even if the loan has been transferred to another lender, resulting in an incorrect late payment being reported on your credit report.

  • Technical errors: Technical errors or data entry mistakes by the credit bureau or lender can result in incorrect late payments being reported on your credit report.

It's important to regularly review your credit report and dispute any errors or inaccuracies that you find. By correcting errors in your credit report, you can help improve your credit history and score.

3. File A Dispute

If you find errors on your credit report, you can dispute them with the credit bureau. You can do this online, by phone, or by mail. You'll need to provide evidence to support your dispute, such as a bill or receipt that proves the information on your credit report is incorrect.

The credit bureau will then investigate the dispute and correct any errors they find. If the dispute is successful, the late payment may be removed from your credit report. If you dispute to the credit reporting agencies they have to request proof from the original creditor within the 30 day period.

Once a credit bureau concludes its investigation, it may verify, update or delete the item in question. Disputes are generally resolved in 30 days—although they may be completed even sooner. If they don’t, that may means the dispute is automatically decided in your favor and that means the late payment will be removed.

Filing a dispute is free, and you can attach or send copies of supporting documentation to verify your claim. However, some items that appear on your credit report typically aren't disputable, such as correct legal names and addresses.

how to remove late payment from credit report
Remove late payment from credit report is possible only if the information is not correct. (Photo by Chinnapong/Shutterstock)

How Long Does A Dispute Take?

Once you file a dispute with a creditor they get a full 30 days to look into the issue. They can then decide to stand by the payment and that means they’re not going to change anything.

On the other hand, if they look into the problem and realize they’ve made a mistake they are required to contact the credit reporting agency and notify them of the information.

They have to make sure that the information is updated because they made the mistake. For disputes to the credit reporting agencies you want to dispute it to each agency, not just one. They too will get a full 30 days to look into the issue before they have to make a decision.

However, there can be extensions to this timetable. For example, if you need to submit additional information for the dispute during the initial 30 day investigation period, it can be extended for 15 additional days. So, once you report an error, you should see it corrected within approximately 45 days.

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Is It Possible To Remove "Correct" Late Payments?

If the late payment is accurate and verifiable, it will remain on your credit report for seven years.

You might hear of ways to get a late payment that was legitimately recorded taken out of your credit reports, but you should be aware that these techniques are definitely a fraud. Your chances to remove it are low, but you can always try.

The first thing you can do is to write a letter to the creditor specifically. This isn’t a letter where you want to air your grievances. This is where you want to be polite, respectful and explanatory.

Go ahead and tell them why you missed your payment. It might be too late since the creditors you have are supposed to report accurate information and they may not be able to pull that information back.

For those who pay before the 30 day window has expired and before it shows up on the credit report you may be able to convince your creditor not to report the payment as late in the first place. If you’ve never paid late before you may be able to get things resolved easier.

How Late Payments Affect Your Credit Score?

Accounting for 35% of your FICO score, your payment history is the absolute most important thing on your credit report and toward your score. Even if you’re the type of person who does everything else right, just one late payment could cause you a whole lot of problems, and it could stay on your report for up to 7 years.

This information is used by credit bureaus to compute your credit score, which will impact whether you are approved for a new credit card, loan, mortgage, or other financial product if you apply. 

Credit bureaus calculate your score based on a range of factors from your credit report. Your credit history, for example, is a significant element in loan decisions. As a result, if a credit limit on one of your accounts is mistakenly reported, it could negatively effect your credit utilization rate.

Don't Hit The 30-Day Mark

When it comes to the points it’s going to make a difference just how late you actually are, and how often you tend to be late.

  • If you haven’t hit the 30-day mark yet then chances are you’re probably safe. Your lender won’t generally report anything that’s less than 30 days. But after that you get different amounts of points impact for different lengths of time, like 30 days, 60 days or 90 days. You’ll probably get more points docked for a 90 day late payment than a 30 day late one.
  • If you tend to miss payments or be late on payments frequently then you’re probably going to be in trouble with your score. If you’ve only made a mistake once a twice, however, you might be able to balance it out.
  • The impact can be felt within as little as one month, because lenders tend to think that your most recent history is the most likely predictor of your future behavior. 
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How Long a Late Payment Will Stay on My Credit Report?

Unfortunately, a late payment can stay on your report for up to 7 years. That’s definitely a long time, but it doesn’t mean you’re barred from doing anything at all with your credit for 7 years. It just means you might have a little bit of something to explain or a harder time if you don’t work on other areas of your credit.

As you continue to move forward and that late payment is further back your score will continue to rise. But if you want to get rid of it permanently, before that 7 years, you may be able to do just that. Find out right here how you can make a dispute and what you can do when it comes to removing your negative payment history.

How To Avoid Late Payments?

Here are some tips to help you avoid late payments:

  • Set up automatic payments: Automate your payments to ensure they are made on time.

  • Create a budget: Plan your expenses in advance to avoid overspending and ensure that all bills are paid on time.

  • Prioritize payments: Pay the bills that have the highest late fees or consequences first.

  • Keep track of due dates: Mark the due dates of your bills on a calendar or set reminders.

  • Consider consolidating debt: If you have multiple bills to pay, consider consolidating them into one monthly payment to simplify the process.

  • Communicate with creditors: If you're having trouble making a payment, reach out to your creditors to discuss alternative payment options.

  • Avoid maxing out credit cards: High credit utilization can lead to financial stress and missed payments.

By following these tips, you can minimize the risk of making late payments and avoid damaging your credit score.

FAQs

Late payment fees are legal providing they are included in the original contract. If you read through the terms and conditions when you apply for a new credit card, loan or mortgage, you will find that the late payments and other fees are detailed in the document.

However, there are state specific laws and regulations regarding the amounts business owners may charge for late payment fees.

As an individual, late payment fees are typically not tax deductible. However, if you are filing as a business, you may be able to claim fees and penalties as a deduction. The exception to this is fines and penalties owed to the government for violating state, local or federal laws, which are never deductible.

Late payments are reported to the credit bureaus and will be listed on your credit report. However, the reporting date is generally 30 days or more after the payment due date. This makes it possible to make up a late payment before it appears on your credit report.

So, if you are a day or two late making a payment, don’t delay and get the account brought up to date quickly, so it will not show as a late payment on your credit report.

Picture of Baruch Mann (Silvermann)

Baruch Mann (Silvermann)

Baruch Silvermann is a financial expert, experienced analyst, and founder of The Smart Investor.  Silvermann has contributed to Yahoo Finance and cited as an authoritative source in financial outlets like Forbes, Business Insider, CNBC Select, CNET, Bankrate, Fox Business, The Street, and more.
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