Can a goodwill letter really improve your credit score? The short answer is yes; it can!
When you are facing a dip in your credit score due to an old debt collection or payments, you may be unable to get approved for necessary loans or other credit-related products.
There is no harm in taking the time to submit a goodwill letter to the creditor or collection agency in question and see if they will consider your request.
Worst-case scenario, your request gets denied, but the goal is to have your thoughtful letter appeal to their sense of compassion and get your three credit reports updated.
What Is a Goodwill Letter?
A goodwill letter essentially asks the creditor to forgive your previous payment issues out of compassion for the circumstances which impacted your ability to pay on time.
Your letter should be clear and concise while still sharing the events which led to you defaulting on your payment. Being ambiguous is not the goal here. Remember to keep this letter polite at all times.
- Express your appreciation for their products, service, and client-customer relationship.
- Mention the reasons for missing or falling behind on your payments.
- Indicate your past and present positive payment history with the creditor. You want to be accountable for your mistakes while also showing this was a short-term issue.
- List how this negative entry on your credit report is impacting your current credit applications.
- Request that your collection account is removed from your credit reports and how this kindness will help you out.
- Thank them for their consideration.
Goodwill Letter Template
Be sure to customize this letter to your needs. Fill in the fields which are identified in bold. Edit the letter as you see fit, whether that be the tone or choice of words.
Be sure to remove any bold text before printing and signing your letter.
[Your name & address]
[Creditors or the collection agency name and address]
Re: [Account Number]
To Whom It May Concern,
Today, I’m writing to you about a paid collection under account number [account number].
Since [year when service began], I’ve remained a faithful customer due to your excellent service and exceptional customer care. On our end, our family has always worked hard to make meet our financial responsibilities.
Regrettably, on [input month and year of late payment], I fell behind on a payment due to [input reason here].
We are currently trying to [input reason here, i.e., apply for a loan, mortgage pre-approval, car loan, credit card, other]. But we are unfortunately experiencing issues obtaining financing for [restate your reason here] due to the past collection account on my credit report.
I respectfully urge that [restate agency’s name again] consider my request for a goodwill removal of this collection from my credit report, given the exceptional circumstances surrounding the late payment and my overall positive payment history.
I cannot stress enough how much this kind gesture would help out my family.
I thank you again for your time and consideration regarding this important matter.
When To Use a Goodwill Letter
Sending a goodwill letter to a collection agency or the original creditor is best when you can demonstrate an overall positive credit history.
This is, after all, not a debt validation letter where you are not sure you are responsible for the collections account. With a goodwill letter, you are at fault and requesting a second chance.
The creditor is unlikely to remove a negative collection from your reports if you have a longstanding history of late or missed payments with them.
Your request being accepted is based solely on the kindness of the creditor or agency. Therefore it’s more likely to be accepted if you have extenuating circumstances which led to a couple of overdue or missed payments.
After Mailing Your Goodwill Letter
After sending your letter in the mail, it becomes a waiting game. Creditors and collection agencies are under no FDCPA regulations to respond to a goodwill letter.
While many agencies and creditors do respond, generally, it is in the form of a letter; you can expect to wait anywhere from 2-4 weeks.
You can also contact their customer service department after waiting a few weeks to see if there is a status update or note on your account.
While mailing a goodwill letter does not guarantee a positive end result, you should attempt it whenever you realistically have the opportunity to try and improve your credit history and score.
About the author
Clara is the founder of Credit Rise Up, an entrepreneur, personal finance expert, and credit repair enthusiast. She’s committed to helping her readers get on the right track and take actionable steps towards improving their credit by using the experience that allowed her to join The 800 Club. Find out more.