fbpx
  • How Do Goodwill Letters Work?

  • How Do Goodwill Letters Work?

    November 29, 2019 | Blog
  • Remove Late Payments from Your Credit With a Goodwill Letter
    A “goodwill letter” can be an effective way to improve your credit score. However, it needs to be done the right way to have a chance. When you write a goodwill letter, you are essentially asking a creditor for a “break” on reported delinquency.

    The most important thing to remember when writing a goodwill letter is that YOU are ultimately responsible for the delinquency that’s stinking up your credit report. This is not a time to lash out at the creditor or blame anyone else.

    In order to have a chance for success, a goodwill letter needs to cite relevant facts. Do so in a way that can appeal emotionally to the creditor. It’s not enough to present the facts and color them with contexts. You need to tell a story.

    A goodwill letter isn’t guaranteed to work, but there are some situations that warrant writing one. Ultimately, the aim is to show intent and attempt. You wanted or planned to pay, but couldn’t for some reason or another.
    If these circumstances apply to you, it may be worth penning a letter:
    There was a technical error in processing your payment. Say you tried to pay your bill, but your creditor’s site was down or glitchy, or the phone line was busy for an unusually long time. You may be a good candidate for a goodwill letter.

    Autopay didn’t work. If you set up autopay and it failed due to a technical error or a lack of funds in your bank account, that may warrant removal. For the latter, explain why your funds were low. Maybe a check took longer than expected to deposit or an emergency expense popped up.
    You made a mistake. If you can prove that you consistently make on-time payments and this slipup was out of character, you can ask your creditor not to hold that against you. For a positive outcome, point to a specific circumstance — perhaps you were busy helping a sick spouse, child or parent, or there was a death in the family.

    You’re experiencing financial hardship. Did a financial strain prevent you from making a payment? Whether it’s a mortgage, student loan or another major expense, this group of people tends to be most successful with goodwill letters.

    Tips for writing a goodwill letter
    A goodwill letter requires thought and tact. After all, you’re asking for a favor from someone who doesn’t have to grant it.
    For a successful goodwill letter, it needs to be a physical letter — not an email. Then follow these guidelines:

    Be polite and appreciative.

    There’s no point getting angry or accusatory — that will only inspire your creditor to throw your letter in the trash. Instead, write in a grateful, conscientious way that lets your creditor know you appreciate them taking the time to consider your request.
    Keep it short and sweet.

    To capture the creditor’s attention, make sure your letter is simple and to the point. Tell your story in three to four paragraphs, and ask someone to proofread it before you send it off.
    Take responsibility for your mistakes.

    Accountability is key. Own up to your late payment and explain — honestly — why it happened. Be specific. Did you lose your job? Were you sick in the hospital? Were you saddled with an unexpected expense, like a family member’s healthcare or funeral costs? Try not to make excuses — that won’t get you anywhere.


    Explain how you will stay on track with payments.

    Next, outline your plan to make on-time payments in the future. For example, if you were unemployed for three months but have since found a job, reassure them that you’ll make payments soon.
    Highlight your positive payment history.


    Sympathy aside, you want to gain your creditor’s trust. To do that, prove that your period of financial hardship was only temporary. If you can show that you made timely payments before and after that period, they’re more likely to cut you a break.


    Spell out why the goodwill adjustment is so important.

    In an effort to get the creditor to empathize with you, tell them how the adjustment benefits you. Are you applying for a small business loan? A mortgage? Or are you trying to qualify for a low APR on a credit card? Show that you’re taking control of your finances and you care about your credit. Round out this section by reaffirming your loyalty to the creditor’s company.


    Include your contact details and account number. To make your creditor’s job easier, note your address, phone number, and email. If your credit report doesn’t contain the full account number (for security purposes), you can find it on your paperwork for that account.

    Remove Late Payments from Your Credit With a Goodwill Letter


    A “goodwill letter” can be an effective way to improve your credit score. However, it needs to be done the right way to have a chance. When you write a goodwill letter, you are essentially asking a creditor for a “break” on reported delinquency.


    The most important thing to remember when writing a goodwill letter is that YOU are ultimately responsible for the delinquency that’s stinking up your credit report. This is not a time to lash out at the creditor or blame anyone else.
    In order to have a chance for success, a goodwill letter needs to cite relevant facts. Do so in a way that can appeal emotionally to the creditor. It’s not enough to present the facts and color them with contexts. You need to tell a story.


    A goodwill letter isn’t guaranteed to work, but there are some situations that warrant writing one. Ultimately, the aim is to show intent and attempt. You wanted or planned to pay, but couldn’t for some reason or another.
    If these circumstances apply to you, it may be worth penning a letter:
    There was a technical error in processing your payment. Say you tried to pay your bill, but your creditor’s site was down or glitchy, or the phone line was busy for an unusually long time. You may be a good candidate for a goodwill letter.


    Autopay didn’t work. If you set up autopay and it failed due to a technical error or a lack of funds in your bank account, that may warrant removal. For the latter, explain why your funds were low. Maybe a check took longer than expected to deposit or an emergency expense popped up.

    You made a mistake. If you can prove that you consistently make on-time payments and this slipup was out of character, you can ask your creditor not to hold that against you. For a positive outcome, point to a specific circumstance — perhaps you were busy helping a sick spouse, child or parent, or there was a death in the family.


    You’re experiencing financial hardship. Did a financial strain prevent you from making a payment? Whether it’s a mortgage, student loan or another major expense, this group of people tends to be most successful with goodwill letters.

    Tips for writing a goodwill letter


    A goodwill letter requires thought and tact. After all, you’re asking for a favor from someone who doesn’t have to grant it.
    For a successful goodwill letter, it needs to be a physical letter — not an email. Then follow these guidelines:

    Be polite and appreciative.

    There’s no point getting angry or accusatory — that will only inspire your creditor to throw your letter in the trash. Instead, write in a grateful, conscientious way that lets your creditor know you appreciate them taking the time to consider your request.

    Keep it short and sweet.

    To capture the creditor’s attention, make sure your letter is simple and to the point. Tell your story in three to four paragraphs, and ask someone to proofread it before you send it off.

    Take responsibility for your mistakes.

    Accountability is key. Own up to your late payment and explain — honestly — why it happened. Be specific. Did you lose your job? Were you sick in the hospital? Were you saddled with an unexpected expense, like a family member’s healthcare or funeral costs? Try not to make excuses — that won’t get you anywhere.

    Explain how you will stay on track with payments.

    Next, outline your plan to make on-time payments in the future. For example, if you were unemployed for three months but have since found a job, reassure them that you’ll make payments soon.

    Highlight your positive payment history.


    Sympathy aside, you want to gain your creditor’s trust. To do that, prove that your period of financial hardship was only temporary. If you can show that you made timely payments before and after that period, they’re more likely to cut you a break.

    Spell out why the goodwill adjustment is so important.

    In an effort to get the creditor to empathize with you, tell them how the adjustment benefits you. Are you applying for a small business loan? A mortgage? Or are you trying to qualify for a low APR on a credit card? Show that you’re taking control of your finances and you care about your credit. Round out this section by reaffirming your loyalty to the creditor’s company.


    Include your contact details and account number.

    To make your creditor’s job easier, note your address, phone number, and email. If your credit report doesn’t contain the full account number (for security purposes), you can find it on your paperwork for that account.

    Next, outline your plan to make on-time payments in the future. For example, if you were unemployed for three months but have since found a job, reassure them that you’ll make payments soon.
    Highlight your positive payment history.
    Sympathy aside, you want to gain your creditor’s trust. To do that, prove that your period of financial hardship was only temporary. If you can show that you made timely payments before and after that period, they’re more likely to cut you a break.
    Spell out why the goodwill adjustment is so important. In an effort to get the creditor to empathize with you, tell them how the adjustment benefits you. Are you applying for a small business loan? A mortgage? Or are you trying to qualify for a low APR on a credit card? Show that you’re taking control of your finances and you care about your credit. Round out this section by reaffirming your loyalty to the creditor’s company.
    Include your contact details and account number. To make your creditor’s job easier, note your address, phone number, and email. If your credit report doesn’t contain the full account number (for security purposes), you can find it on your paperwork for that account.

    DKR GROUP LLC
    www.dkrgroupfinancial.com or call us 770-578-4165.