How Can I Remove a Late Payment from My Credit Report?

Question from Cc: Question: My spouse had a credit card and didn’t realize there was a balance until they applied for a loan. The loan application was denied because the card was 150 days overdue for payment.

We called and paid it off that day. However, 9 months later, the late payment is still on their credit report, which we didn’t even know we had a payment due.

How can we get this off their record … ?


It can be frustrating to discover a late payment on your credit report, especially when it affects your ability to secure a loan. However, there are several steps you can take to attempt to remove this late payment from your spouse’s credit report.

Dispute the Late Payment with the Credit Bureau

If you believe the late payment is an error, you can dispute it directly with the credit bureau. They are required by law to investigate any disputes within 30 days. Here’s how you can do it:

  • Write a dispute letter detailing why the late payment is incorrect.
  • Include any supporting documentation, such as bank statements or payment confirmations.
  • Send the letter via certified mail to ensure it’s received.

Contact the Credit Card Company

If the late payment is accurate but due to a misunderstanding, you can contact the credit card company directly. Explain the situation and ask if they would be willing to remove the late payment from your credit report. This is often referred to as a “goodwill adjustment”.

Pay for Delete

In some cases, you might be able to negotiate a “pay for delete” agreement with the creditor. This means you agree to pay the outstanding balance in exchange for them removing the late payment from your credit report. However, this is less common and not all creditors will agree to it.

Wait It Out

If none of the above options work, the late payment will eventually fall off your credit report on its own. According to the Fair Credit Reporting Act, late payments can only remain on your credit report for seven years.

Remember, maintaining a good credit score is important for your financial health. It’s crucial to regularly check your credit report for any errors or discrepancies and to make all credit card payments on time. If you’re struggling with managing your credit, consider seeking advice from a credit counseling agency.

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