Goodwill Letters

Goodwill Letters: What You Need To Know

Consider writing goodwill letters to creditors to remove negative entries from your report if your credit history is in good shape overall. However, a delayed or missed payment is still hurting your credit score.

Sending a goodwill letter to a lender means you’re asking them to get in touch with the major credit bureaus to eliminate a negative entry from your credit report to improve your score.

What is a Goodwill Letter?

A goodwill letter is a formal request to lenders, creditors, or a collections agency asking to remove an erroneous entry from your credit report. These negative entries stay on your report for about seven to ten years, making it difficult to get approvals for new lines of credit or financial accounts in the future.

You can ask your creditor to remove technical errors which have occurred due to unfortunate circumstances in the past in order to dispute the entry. Having creditors or a collection agency remove the negative entries by contacting credit bureaus can save you a lot of credit difficulty and time.

Bear in mind that a goodwill letter or a goodwill adjustment is not similar to a dispute. Disputing errors on your report is done by reporting the error to the three major consumer credit agencies. In contrast, a goodwill letter is directly sent out to a creditor or collections agency.

Goodwill letters aren’t an officially recognized strategy by the Federal Trade Commission, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, or the other credit bureaus. Hence creditors aren’t always obliged to cater to or respond to your requests. The director of consumer education at Experian, Rod Griffin, states that a goodwill letter will not result in the elimination of negative information in the majority of the cases as lenders are legally obligated to include the negative entries on your report.

When Should You Write a Goodwill Letter?

You may have to write a ‘goodwill letter’ addressing the creditor and elucidating why timely payments could not be made or why you have a high credit card balance.

A goodwill letter can be written if the following instances have occurred:

  • Missing payment due to financial hardships
  • Missed payment due to an emergency
  • Not being able to pay due to technical errors
  • You didn’t receive the billing receipt at your updated mailing address.

It is recommended by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) that you provide a copy of your report with the error highlighted. It is also necessary to provide important documentation while filing a dispute to support your claim.

Your lender may be able to resolve a late payment issue before it is recorded in your credit report.

Letters for dispute should be mailed to the following addresses:

Equifax Information Services, LLC

P.O. Box 740256

Atlanta, GA 30374


P.O. Box 4500

Allen, TX 75013

TransUnion Consumer Solutions

Consumer Dispute Center

P.O. Box 2000

Chester, PA 19016

How Should I Write a Goodwill Letter?

It is advised to personalize your letter while being sincere, polite, and grateful to creditors for the business relationship. The following details must be included in the letter:

Provide any supporting documents and files as evidence for the unfortunate emergencies that may have occurred to highlight your case prominently. Furthermore, goodwill adjustment can be requested via phone by contacting the business’s customer care team.

Consider a Pay-for-Delete Letter. 

Another way to remove negative items from your credit reports is known as ‘pay-for-delete.’ Debt collectors usually offer the ‘pay-for-delete’ services to remove late payment pulls from your credit report at a certain price, paying off the account.

Opting for this course is not advised as your money can be saved and instead be used to file a dispute regarding incorrect information yourself.

The pay-for-delete option will, at best, eliminate the paid collections account from your record, but not the delayed payments or original account, and this usually works only once with low-level items such as delayed payments. The request for a goodwill deletion will work best if a user’s credit record is good and if there are little to no past mistakes.

Goodwill Letters Do Work With Creditors.

Unless it’s a mistake that has been reported to credit bureaus, you cannot push a creditor to remove an entry by disputing it with them. Goodwill is just a gesture of the lender, which cannot be forced on them by law.

Aim to try to go up the chain of command to hand over your goodwill request to the upper management, like the CEO or vice president, instead of simply handing it over to a customer service representative. Hence it is safe to say that goodwill letters do still work if you regularly pay off your debts and are in good credit standing. 

The more people are reviewing your goodwill request, the better the chances of people from the upper management approving it.


There still remains no guarantee that a goodwill letter will work with your creditor as there’s no fixed formula to follow. Bear in mind that creditors aren’t liable to cater to your request always, so you may not get any response. 

Monitor your credit reports regularly to check if credit bureaus have updated any information in your record after you have sent your goodwill letter. Be persistent with your phone calls and follow-up letters if you haven’t noticed an amendment in your credit report or received a response from them.

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