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How To Remove Late Payments From Your Credit Report

How To Remove Late Payments From Your Credit Report

Payment history is the single most important factor when calculating a consumer's credit score. It accounts for the highest percentage, 35%, of a credit score and can therefore have a significant negative impact when trying to obtain credit. It's not just about getting loans either since your credit history can affect your ability to obtain employment or rent an apartment. Any steps that can be taken to remove late payments from your credit report will inevitably better your situation financially. Lets take a look at some of the options when trying to improve your credit score.

Contact the Credit Bureaus

When contacted by a consumer who is correcting inaccurate information on their credit report, the three major credit reporting agencies by law have to respond within 30 days to verify the information in question. If they fail to respond within the 30 day window, they must legally remove the information from your credit report. Each reporting agency, Experian, Equifax and TransUnion, provides an information correction form and mailing address for consumers to use. Make sure to document all contact and mailing information and send a certified letter since it provides a receipt that the information has been received.

Verify the Payment Time and Amount

Contacting credit reporting agencies regarding inaccurate information isn't limited to just the incident in question. You're not just challenging the fact that a late payment appears on your credit report but also specific information like the time and amount. If any of this information is incorrect it may lead to successful challenge in your favor resulting in the late payment's removal. Double check all of your records including checkbook and account statements and if the late payment is older than two years then it should be removed from your credit report. This is important since a credit score is calculated using the last 24 months of payment information.

Contact the Reporting Company

The reason credit reports contain any information at all is because businesses provide data on each consumer with which they have a business relationship. Depending on how good your business relationship is, you may be able to send a goodwill letter to the company politely requesting they remove the late payment information from your credit report. This of course will only work if you have been with the company for years and are considered a high value customer in good standing. This also tends to work only for one or two late payments since any more would not only be excessive but would also mean you may not a very good customer in their eyes.

Hire a Credit Repair Agency

Credit repair, which includes removing late payments from a credit report, can always be initiated by the consumer with no need to use debt consolidation of credit repair companies. That doesn't mean these companies don't offer valuable services which may be beneficial for some individuals. Many people are either unfamiliar or uncomfortable when contacting the credit reporting agencies or individual companies themselves. Use the Better Business Bureau and Federal Trade Communication websites when searching for a reliable and reputable credit repair agencies in your area.

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