It’s common to be caught up in your busy life and fail to pay your bills on time. You might be having an unexpected emergency bill and fail to pay your credit card knowing very well that it can wait. Failing to pay a bill for 30 straight days makes it delinquent. Since payment history is about 35% of your credit score, it can greatly affect your overall score and this mark can stay on your credit card for up to 10 years if you do not do anything. Thankfully, most companies allow late payments and some of them even make it easy to remove the late payment error from your credit score. Here is how to remove the mark.
The Process of Disputing Late Payments
First, you should only dispute late payments if you really think there was an error. Being dishonest can put you in much more trouble than the late payment. Normally, all disputes pass through the credit bureaus. These credit bureaus allow you to call them, email them, or write to them. However, since they often need a lot of information, writing is the most preferable.
To save time, get screenshots and copies of the online transactions where you claim there was an error. You can ask the reporting agency for copies of the form or send your dispute with copies of any supporting documents. For records, always ensure that you keep copies of what you have sent. Also, indicate clearly in the report that you are trying to dispute and explain well why you think this information is not correct while requesting for investigation.
In case the bureau decides to make changes in your credit report, it must furnish you with a copy of the report and the results in writing. You can also ask that the corrected copy be sent to anyone who got your report. If you are a job applicant, you can have the corrected report sent to anyone who got employment reasons in the past couple of years.
Unless the creditor verifies the information, the credit bureau cannot put the disputed report in your life. If this is the case, it might write to you giving you proper information about the name and the address of the creditor. You can then dispute the information in writing so that there is a proof. Many creditors such as banks and other credit card companies have addresses that you can use to send the information. If it reports the information to the bureau, it must indicate that you disputed it. However, in case they cannot solve the problem, ensure that the credit bureau includes your copy of the report in future reports and in your files.
Once you have sent the letter of dispute, the reporting bureaus have between 30 to 45 days to analyze the dissolute and respond. If they do not respond then you can follow up. According to research, over 25% of reports might have errors hence it’s very important to file a dispute. If you are not sure about this, you can check whether you have late payments or not.