A credit card reporting due date is at least 30 days after the last payment. Unfortunately, some creditors or lenders don’t disclose late payments until they’re 60 days past the due date. This is why it’s imperative to check the information on your credit report to know when a late payment appears.
When juggling multiple monthly bills and having trouble making timely credit card payments, you need to find out if you qualify for a grace period. Even a single missed or late payment may impact your credit scores, reports, and interest rates. Here’s how you can remedy the situation.
2 Ways to Remove Credit Report Late Payments
With late credit card payments, you’ll have to contend with a bad credit report for seven years. What’s worse is that partial payments are still reported as overdue. You may also incur late credit card fees for failing to make the minimum payment by your due date. Late payments appear on your credit card report because of a non-payment or due to erroneous mistakes made by the lender or credit bureau.
Here are two of your most viable options to remove late payments from your credit report:
1. Call Your Credit Card Issuer and Ask Them to Take the Late Payments Off Your Credit Report
If you paid a credit card bill on time but it was reported late, you can contact the creditor that made the report or the relevant credit reporting agencies. Failing to correct credit card errors is a direct violation of the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).
Credit card consumer reporting agencies like Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion must amend any incorrect late payment errors. Should reporting agencies or lenders fail to remove the late payment on your credit report, you have every right to file a dispute. This is where a seasoned FCRA attorney comes in because they can write a letter explaining the errors on your report and request that the payment be removed.
Consider filing a dispute with the credit card issuer, lender, or collection agency responsible for sending the information to the reporting agencies. Conversely, if you’ve made a late payment that accurately reflects on your credit report, the chances of having it removed from your report by the credit reporting agency are slim.
2. Write a Goodwill Letter to the Creditor Explaining Why You Haven’t Made Timely Payments
It’s important to consult a knowledgeable FCRA attorney when writing a goodwill letter, especially if a late payment is accurate. Your lawyer is in the best position to explain your circumstances and capture your claims in digestible detail. For example, the late payment was due to unexpected changes in your job, leading to financial hardships beyond your control. You will be asking a reporting agency to remove derogatory marks from your credit reports through a letter.
Therefore, a well-written goodwill letter should show you’re taking responsibility for your missed payments. It should also outline how you intend to keep up with your future payments. Use the address listed on your credit report to send the goodwill letter to your creditor and then follow up with a phone call to further persuade them.
How to Avoid Late Payments on Your Credit Reports
With a late payment in your report, you’ll need to build your credit to raise your scores. The most significant thing you can do going forward is to send your payments several days early. This means signing up for electronic payments to ensure you are not cutting it too close to your expected due date. Also, consider setting up autopay for the minimum payment or total statement balance to avert interest charges.
Autopay takes minutes to set up, and you can rest assured knowing you’ll never miss a single payment on all your credit cards. In addition to autopay, you can add another layer of protection with calendar reminders, texts, or email alerts. Another option is to change your payment due date, particularly if you have multiple bills to pay and their due dates are spread out over the month. You can adjust your due date to have all your bills and credit card payments sorted all at once upon getting paid.
Lastly, consider signing up for credit cards that don’t charge late fees or waive your first late fees. Credit card late fees and subsequent violations can put a notable strain on your future finances if left unchecked.
How Can a Consumer Protection Attorney Help?
If you’ve purchased items on credit, your credit report is maintained by Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion credit reporting agencies. A federal law known as the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) protects your past and present credit report information. These credit reporting agencies are tasked with accurately gathering billions of transaction data and using that information to track and reliably report credit histories.
In case you’ve been the victim of improper credit reporting mistakes stemming from identity errors or theft, duplicate accounts, and inaccurate information, you can dispute the errors. Where discrepancies exist in your credit report, a seasoned consumer protection lawyer can file a lawsuit to stop incorrect credit reporting and win a favorable award.
Hire a FCRA Lawyer Today
While Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion credit reporting agencies excel at what they do, they are not error-free. Whether you want to remove errors from your credit report or have been flagged for multiple late payments, our Florida FCRA Attorneys at The Law Offices of Jibrael S. Hindi are here to help.
Failure to address such issues can harm your ability to get credit for a home, car, lease, personal loan, and more. Know that we take cases on a contingency basis, meaning you don’t have to pay a dime until we obtain a favorable outcome. Call us at (954) 907-1136 or fill out our confidential contact form to schedule a free consultation.