Can You Get a Late Payment Removed From Your Credit Report?

In the early stages of delinquency, if you have an acceptable explanation for a missed payment, you should contact your issuer. If you're running late, you can ask for forgiveness, but don't count on getting it unless you have a good reason.

I need to tell you a secret. I was late on a credit card payment once, and that was years ago. I got in touch with the issuer and let them know I had to go to the emergency room. Issuer didn't charge me any late fees. Luckily, my late payment was only a few days late and not yet reported to the credit reporting agencies.

Let me explain why I found this to be effective. My utilization ratios were low, my credit score was over 800, and I moved quickly. In addition, I had valid excuses for being late with the payment.

If this isn't your first time being late with a credit card payment, you shouldn't even bother calling the company. And if your credit has been going down, don't even bother calling. Don't draw unwanted attention to the fact that you aren't in the best financial shape.

If you can't pay the bill, what happens? If you fall behind on your payments and don't have enough money to pay at all, call your issuer. Ask for the hard times department and tell them what's going on. If you don't do anything, your account could be sold to a debt collector. Another thing that stays on your credit report for seven years is a collection account.

Most plans for hard times last about a year. During that time, the lender may temporarily lower your monthly payment or interest rate to help you get caught up.

But if you can't fix your situation that quickly, contact the National Foundation for Credit Counseling for advice. Your score won't go down if you just reach out and talk to a counselor.

Ignoring a financial crisis is the worst thing you can do. Do something before you can't make a payment. Taking this step takes courage, but you'll be glad you did.

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