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Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Remove Late Payments from Your Credit Report

By Matt Douglas

Late payments are not created equal; a 30 or 60 day late pay will not damage your score much, and can often be removed. However a 90 day or 120 day late pay will cause significant damage to your score.

This mark can be deleted by the lender as a way to keep your business and keep you happy. We suggest you contact the lender and ask them to delete the mark.

A phone call and a letter including the reason is the most effective method. Also be respectful and nice to them because they do not have to remove this mark.

A 90 or 120 day mark is much harder to erase. If you account is still open, we suggest you contact the lender.

It is a good idea to make sure your account is up to date before making this request. Typically if the lender sees a history of late payments they will not remove it.

If the lender will not remove this item then we suggest you dispute it directly with the bureaus. This is done through a dispute letter; you can create it or hire a service to do it on your behalf.

The negative item will be on your report for a maximum of seven years. Your account will go to a collection agency after 180 days of delinquency.

A lender can remove this mark because they report monthly to the bureaus and can choose what to report to them. Thus if they do not report your late payment the next month then it will not be on your credit history.

Your only way of getting help from the creditor is if you account is currently in good standing. Additionally there is information about negative marks and that they will stay on your report for 7 years.

This is not true; any item can be removed at any point in time, the maximum amount of time an item can remain on your report is seven years. There are a few exceptions such as a bankruptcy. The Fair Credit Reporting Act clearly says that the maximum amount of time is seven years. There is no minimum amount of time an item must stay on your report and can thus be removed at any time.

In sum if you can not negotiate removal of the mark directly with the lender you should dispute it with the bureaus. This is done through a dispute letter written yourself or by hiring a service to do it on your behalf.

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