Goodwill deletion letter 2023 (guide + free samples)

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This post covers everything you need to know about a goodwill deletion letter.

Late payments can severely impact your credit score.

According to LendingTree a late payment can drop your credit score by as much as 180 points and may stay on your credit reports for up to seven years.

However, life “happens” occasionally, and there may be instances in which you forget to make a payment or fall behind and must make a late payment.

In such a scenario, you might be interested in learning about methods that could permanently erase one or more late payments from your credit reports.

The good news is that you can write a goodwill deletion letter to your creditor and ask them to remove the negative entry from your credit history.

In fact, having one late payment removed from their credit report often raises a person’s credit score by between 50 and 110 points.

Here you will earn how you can do it.

  • What is a goodwill deletion letter?
  • Is a goodwill deletion letter binding?
  • When to use a goodwill deletion letter?
  • Can a goodwill deletion letter really repair your credit report?
  • What if your goodwill deletion letter does not work?
  • How do you write a winning goodwill deletion letter?
  • goodwill deletion letter template
  • etc.

Let’s get started

What is a goodwill deletion letter?

A goodwill deletion letter is a brief statement of facts written by an individual to request a creditor or collection agency to remove a late payment history from his credit report.

This letter is being issued as a means of expressing regret for the late payment and your commitment to making all future payments on time.

You don’t dispute an inaccuracy or get in touch with the credit bureaus when you write a goodwill deletion letter.

You’re contacting the original creditor or collection agency directly to express regret for an error you made and ask that it make a “goodwill adjustment.”

In other words, you are requesting that the creditor take away something unfavorable but true out of goodwill or compassion.

It is from that sense, the name goodwill deletion came from.

Many people confuse a goodwill letter with a pay-for-delete letter.

A goodwill letter asks a creditor to erase a debt you’ve already settled, but a pay for delete letter asks a creditor to erase a collection account or any other bad entry from your credit report in exchange for full or partial payment of the debt.

Therefore if you want to remove unpaid debt from your credit a goodwill deletion letter won’t help you. You should try a Pay for deletion letter instead.

Is a goodwill deletion letter binding?

A goodwill deletion letter is not legally binding

It is just a legal bargaining tool with no legal force.

Here, I’ll explain why.

Most bill collectors have arrangements with the major credit bureaus.

Under these contracts, they are typically prohibited from removing correct information from the credit files of their clients.

For the normal seven years, your credit report should accurately include all charge-offs, late payments, and delinquent accounts.

Creditors resent it when truly adverse information about you is erased from your credit history when it is real because their industry is built on data accuracy and trust.

For example, Bank of America declared on their website that they are required to provide complete and accurate information, which is why they are not obligated to meet requests for goodwill adjustments.”

When to use a goodwill deletion letter?

The lender is less likely to fulfill your goodwill request if you have a history of late payments or other risk concerns, such as high credit card balances.

If you don’t have a convincing justification for the error, such as the fact that you just forgot to pay, your request will also be less successful.

Only send a goodwill letter to a creditor if you have made a late payment and have a valid reason.

For example;

  1. You believed your bill was set up for automatic payment, but you were incorrect.
  2. You moved banks, and your payment was inadvertently missed during the process.
  3. You relocated, but your bill never arrived at your new location.
  4. You were in the midst of a balance transfer and were unaware that your prior debt had not been paid off.
  5. Your capacity to pay your payments was briefly hampered by a financial crisis like the loss of a job, medical crisis, or divorce.

In any instance, you should ask for forgiveness and relief for an unintentionally delayed payment in your goodwill letter, but you should also be able to guarantee that the same mistake will never happen again.

The rule of thumb: Only send a goodwill letter when you have valid reasons, you are actually ready to handle your credit seriously and never miss another payment.

How to write a winning goodwill deletion letter

A goodwill deletion letter is written in a business letter format. Begin your letter with your address and contact information, followed by a date and the collector or creditor’s address, and state that you are writing to request a late payment history be removed from your credit report. Briefly explain the situation that caused the late payment and explain the steps you took to correct the issue.

Finish with “Sincerely,” followed by your name and signature.

REMEMBER! the main purpose of your goodwill deletion letter is to ask for a goodwill adjustment.

Therefore, to write an effective goodwill deletion letter, do the following.

  • Include your name and contact information
  • Include the date of the letter
  • Include the creditor/collector’s address
  • Include your account number
  • Provide the details of the late payment records you request to be removed- date, time, etc.
  • Briefly describe the circumstances leading up to the late payment.
  • Describe the steps you took to resolve the problem.
  • Describe how having a bad record is affecting you negatively, such as if it makes it harder for you to get a mortgage.
  • Explain how the adjustment will help you.
  • Maintain a professional tone
  • Be honest
  • Don’t be defensive. Accept that you have made a mistake in falling behind and take full responsibility for your actions.

other useful tips

  • Send your letter by certified mail with a return receipt requested so you know when and if the creditor receives it.
  • Keep a copy.

Goodwill deletion letter sample

Your Name
Your Address
City, State, Zip Code
phone
email

DATE

[Recipent Name]
[Recipent Title]
[Creditor’s Company]
[Creditor’s Street Address]
[Creditor’s City, State, and Zip Code]

Re: Account Number: [#]

Dear [Recipent Last Name]

I, [your name] am writing this letter to humbly request that you apply a goodwill adjustment to remove the late payment records from my credit report that was reported on [Date] for my [Account Type/Name] account [Account Number] that I have recently discovered upon reviewing my [Credit Bureau Name] credit report.

At that time, I experienced a medical emergency that needed me to spend most of my income and all of my savings, which prevented me from being able to pay my mortgage on time.

I recognize that falling behind was a mistake and accept full responsibility for my actions. I am also aware of the difficulties that untimely payments may pose for your business.

Before my recent medical emergency, I had a history of making on-time payments to you ever since my loan was first advanced. To maintain my records, I’ve resumed paying bills on time in the months following my recovery, and to make sure I don’t forget any future payments, I’ve even signed up for automated payments.

Based on the reasons stated above, my efforts to resolve the situation, and my excellent on-time payment record, I would like to request you apply a goodwill adjustment and remove the late payment mark from my credit report.

By granting this request, you’ll help me build my overall credit history and show that I’m a reliable borrower.

Thank you for your time and consideration regarding this matter.

Sincerely

Signature

Name

Goodwill deletion letter pdf

Can a goodwill deletion letter really repair your credit report?

Yes, a goodwill deletion letter can really repair your credit report when the creditor or collection agent heeds your request and remove a late payment record from your credit report.

As I said earlier having one late payment removed from their credit report often raises a person’s credit score by between 50 and 110 points.

However a goodwill letter cannot be guaranteed to succeed, and there is no set formula you may use to increase your chances of success.

Regardless of the success rate, you have nothing to lose by seeking this kind of help.

The purpose of a goodwill letter is to make an effort to have bad info removed from your credit reports, fully aware that you may or may not be successful in doing so.

What if your goodwill deletion letter does not work?

Look!

You have already paid the debt and your request to let the negative item be removed from your credit report is denied.

What next?

Can you guess?

I know others may say “be persistent and contact or send a follow-up letter if a month goes by and you haven’t heard back or seen a change on your credit reports.”

That may never move a Needle.

The best thing you can do when your goodwill letter doesn’t work is to rebuild your credit by moving forward and establishing a solid history of on-time payments.

PERIOD.

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Isack Kimaro
Isack Kimaro

Holder of Bachelor of Laws (LL.B) and Post Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice. I am dedicated to providing valuable and easy-to-understand legal information for individuals at all levels of understanding. Whether you are a layperson looking to increase your knowledge, a law student striving to excel in your studies, or a practicing lawyer wanting to expand your expertise, I am here to help. I'm not creating content, I'm creating awareness to empower you to take control of your legal understanding and achieve your goals.