Goodwill Letter Template: Sample Letters to Remove Late Payments
Goodwill Letter Template: Sample Letters to Remove Late Payments | How To Write a Goodwill Letter That Works!
What is a Goodwill Letter?
A goodwill letter is simply a letter that explains the reason that you were late on making a payment on one of your credit cards.
Do Goodwill Letters Work?
In short yes they do. But the circumstances have to be just right. If they are, the goodwill letters have a high success rate! We will uncover those circumstances in this article.
Who Do You Send Goodwill Letters to?
Goodwill letters can be sent to your credit card creditors, your auto financing company, your bank, or any other type of lender.
All you have to do is write the letter explaining why you were late on your payment, and that you are asking for them, in essence, to forgive that late payment and remove it from your credit report as a courtesy for you.
And then send the letter off.
Goodwill Letters are also known as goodwill adjustment letters or goodwill forgiveness removal letters.
When you write a goodwill letter, your goal is to ask for forgiveness and in return, the creditor graciously removes the negative mark from your credit reports.
The Good News
The good news is that writing a goodwill letter is a straightforward and simple process, and is something you can do on your own to help improve your credit and increase your score.
The other good news is that it actually sometimes works!
But you got to know exactly how to go about it to increase your chances. And we help you with that right here!
If there is a late payment on your credit report, and you write a goodwill letter with good reason, you have a good chance of getting it removed if you have a good past history with the creditor.
Having a good bond with creditors will certainly improve your chances. If you’ve been a pretty responsible borrower who has actually missed a payment due to an error, medical emergency, or short-term potential financial situation beyond your control, most creditors will be understanding.
So again, you will have the best chance of removing a negative mark with the help of a goodwill letter if your relationship with the creditor is good.
The Bad News
Writing a goodwill letter doesn’t always work.
If you have made more than one late payment in the previous year, your chances of a late negative mark removed are reduced dramatically.
If you are habitually late, then creditors obviously won’t be willing to remove the negative marks from your credit report.
They will most likely go soft pull on your credit and if they see that you’ve been late with other creditors recently, your chances of using the Goodwill letters strategy diminishes exponentially.
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When Should I Write A Goodwill Letter
We are going to go over when the perfect time is to send a goodwill letter to get successful results
Some Real-Life Situations Wher you have the Best Chance for Success
As we have discussed, a goodwill letter isn’t guaranteed to always work but here are some real-life situations, where your chances are better that they would work and that would fully warrant you to write one.
One of the secrets of writing a (good) successful goodwill letter is that it is believable, chances look like that it really did happen, and/or it was a one-time accident, fluke, or coincidence beyond your control.
If you are facing or have faced any of these below-given circumstances then you have to surely have a good reason to write a goodwill letter:
1. You experienced a technical error while processing the payment: You can say that you tried to pay your bill, but your creditor’s site was down or the phone line was busy for a very long time.
2. Autopay didn’t work: If you set up autopay and the payment didn’t hit due to lack of funds in your bank account or due to technical error, that would also warrant a latter. Simply explain to them why your funds were low.
3. You had a family emergency: You could explain that some sort of emergency happened and the payment either slip your mind or you unable to make the payment for some reason.
4. You had an emergency expense: Tell them that an unexpected emergency popped up where you needed to come up with a lot of funds quickly and temporarily put you off track with that one payment and that was the reason that you were late.
5. You made a mistake: If you can prove that you regularly make your payments on time and this slip-up was out of character for whatever reason, you can ask your creditor to not to hold this one-time slip-up against you.
6. You are extremely ill: Of course, ethically you would only want to use this if it was something that really affected you making the payment. This would especially work well if you sent them a letter or proof from a doctor.
7. Death in your family: If you’ve had a death in your family most creditors will be sensitive to your situation.
Other reasons include:
You moved and you never received the bill.
You truly thought that you submitted the payment button online. This has actually happened to me for real quite a few times. Sometimes you think you hit the button for payment but sometimes there’s like a three-step process and you don’t hit the final confirmation button.
You simply forgot. Lastly, in this ever-growing digital age, we are getting bombarded daily with all kinds of emails and offers. Simply forgetting can sometimes actually be a very valid excuse.
So how do you go about writing a goodwill forgiveness removal letter?
Simply write a letter explaining why you were late.
Come up with a good reason and take your time explaining the situation in full.
The more in-depth you are and the more evidence you give, the better your chances are of success.
So before we get into actual goodwill letter samples and templates, we are going to go over some important tips to increase your conversion rates!
Tips For Writing a Goodwill Letter
A proper goodwill letter requires focus and tact. You have to remember that what you are doing is asking for a favor from someone who doesn’t have to grant it. To increase your chances of having success with your goodwill letter, it has to be a physical handwritten letter mailed to your creditor. We do not recommend sending it in an email.
Follow these tips to write a perfect goodwill letter to your creditors!
Be Polite and Appreciative
There’s no point in getting defensive or negative in your tone when writing your letter; doing this will only inspire your creditor to completely overlook your request. Instead, all you have to do is write gratefully so that your creditor understands that you appreciate them by taking the time to consider your request.
Keep your goodwill letter short and sweet.
To capture your creditor’s attention, you must make sure that your letter is simple and to the point. Tell your story in short (three to four paragraphs) and to the point. It may be a good idea to ask someone to proofread your letter before sending it to your creditor.
Take Responsibility for your mistake
Accountability is the essential key here. Stand up to your late payment and sincerely explain to them why it happened. Be specific with your mistakes, and don’t try to make excuses for your mistake.
Explain how you will stay on track and on time with future payments
Give them a remedy, plan, or outline that you will follow to make sure that you make on-time payments in the future. Show them that you are taking caution as to not let it happen again.
Highlight your positive payment history
Explain to them that you have had a good track record. This helps to prove that your hardship was only temporary. If you can show that you have made timely payments before and after that period, then they are more likely to cut you a break.
Include your contact details and account number
To make your creditor’s job much simpler and easier, note your address, phone number, and email. If your credit report doesn’t contain the full account number, then you can find it on your invoice or bill for that account.
Be as unique and authentic as you can
You absolutely know that these creditors have heard everything under the sun. The more sincere, unique, and authentic that you are and the more that you make it look like a one time very believable blunder or fluke, the higher your chances are for success
Do not copy and paste templates from the internet. You should just use templates as springboards to give you ideas. Write your letter like a real person so that it does not look like the letter was computer-generated or copy and pasted from a generic letter online.
Follow up with your creditors
If you do not get an initial response within 30 days or so, follow up with your creditors by giving them a call.
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Want to write your own goodwill letters?
We’ve got you covered!
Below are some goodwill templates that you can use!
Missed or Late Payment Goodwill Letter Template
Here’s a template goodwill letter for missed payments on a credit card:
Thank you for taking the time to read this letter. I’m writing because I noticed that my most recent credit report contains [a late payment/payments] reported on [date/dates] for my [name of account] account.
I want you to know that I fully understand my financial obligations, and if it weren’t for [circumstance that caused you to miss a payment], I’d have an excellent repayment record. I made a mistake in falling behind, but since then, [description of how your circumstances have changed or how you’ve improved your money management]. Since then, I’ve had a spotless record of on-time payments.
I’m planning to apply for [a mortgage/auto loan/etc.], and it’s come to my attention that the missed payment on my record could hurt my ability to qualify. I truly believe that it doesn’t reflect my creditworthiness and commitment to repaying my debts. It would help me immensely if you could give me a second chance and make a goodwill adjustment to remove the late [payment/payments] on [date/dates].
Thank you very much for your time and for your consideration, and I hope you’ll approve my request.
If you have any questions regarding this incident, please feel free to reach out to me.
A More Unique and Creative Late Payment Goodwill Letter Template
Let’s bring this up to the next level: This Goodwill letter is a little more creative
My name is [your name] and I have been a card member since 2014.
Recently on [date] I had an unfortunate family situation that happened to me that was out of my control. My mother who lives in San Diego ran into financial difficulty and needed a loan to help her pay her mortgage.
Because she was in such distress, I flew out to San Diego to help her. I thought I had taken care of a couple of obligations in my hometown, but because I was so worried, a few obligations have had slipped my mind.
I take my credit very seriously and I get anxious and upset if I’m even just one day late.
I was hoping that you could please review my account and see if my past payment history reflects my creditworthiness.
My family and I have greatly improved my mother’s situation and I would be grateful if you would help me as well in my time of need.
I will absolutely work hard to make my payments in advance in the future and to not let anything like this happen again.
Thank you so much for any clemency that you could give me. As a longtime customer, I would appreciate it.
What Happens After You Send The Goodwill Letter
Once your letter is sent in the mail all you have to do is wait for a response. You may hear back from your creditor in as little as one to two weeks, which is an optimal situation. However, there are chances that it may take longer than that. Most creditors will courteously respond but some might not respond at all.
If you do not get a response within a reasonable amount of time, you can always call customer service to ask about the status of your request.
You can also follow up by sending your original letter again.
What Creditors Consider When Reviewing Goodwill Letters
Your creditor will consider how long you have been a customer with them. They will look at whether or not you’ve had a long relationship and have a positive payment history with them.
Lastly, if you have already requested a goodwill adjustment from the same creditor, particularly within the last two years, then you’re less likely to have a late payment removed but it is still possible.
1. How do you write a goodwill letter?
There are 5 tips for writing and submitting a proper goodwill letter:
Never use a negative tone when writing a goodwill letter.
Have a really good believable reason why you were late.
Include as much supporting evidence of why you missed your payment or why you were late.
Include relevant facts and explain in detail why you missed the payment.
Explain remedies you have implemented so that it will not happen again in the future.
Follow-up with your creditors
2. Do goodwill letters really work?
Yes. goodwill letters still work in this day and age. Many people have late payments and other issues removed from their credit reports even if they were reported properly by creditors.
3. Who do I send goodwill letters to?
You should send a goodwill letter to your creditor on which shows a late payment on your credit report. Send your letter via mail to the customer support department of your creditor. If you are not sure of the address, call your creditor and ask for the correct mailing address for support.
Writing a goodwill letter isn’t hard and you have nothing to lose by trying. This simple and easy process does not have any downsides.
Of course, sending a goodwill letter to your creditor does not guarantee a negative mark to be removed, but if it is the first time that you are writing a goodwill letter, you have a stronger chance of success.
This could help you to raise your score quickly because late payments hurt your score significantly, especially a recent late payment.
Having a higher credit score can save you precious money on interest rates or help you to get approved for a loan you’d otherwise be denied for.
I am a credit repair expert with over 15 years in the industry. I owned my own credit repair company for 10 years. I now love helping consumers to repair their own credit and I love helping entrepreneurs to start their own businesses just like I did.