When starting a credit repair company, it is easy to get so caught up in the “us vs. them” mentality that you forget one of the first things you learned as a child: ask nicely.
In many cases, credit furnishers will perform a “Goodwill deletion” and remove negative items even if they are accurate. When should a goodwill letter be used and how can you use it to help your clients?
What to Expect With Goodwill Deletion
The goodwill deletion request letter is based on the age-old principle that everyone makes mistakes. It is, simply put, the practice of admitting a mistake to a lender and asking them not to penalize you for it. Obviously, this usually works only with one-time, low-level items like 30-day late payments.
In today’s credit environment, the clock for a 30-day late payment begins at the debt’s due date. So it is unlikely that the client could get away with the excuse that they were on vacation, working long hours, or that they only paid a day or two late. Instead, clients should base their requests for a goodwill deletion from creditors on the fact that this was a one-time mistake, an anomaly that won’t be repeated. This works best if the credit payment history is good and there is little evidence of past mistakes.
When Should a Goodwill Letter be Used?
A goodwill letter should be used in a finite amount of situations, like in instances where your client was in the wrong, but hasn’t shown repeat behavior.
As such, a request letter for a goodwill deletion should be worded quite differently from your typical dispute letter. Instead of firm and professional, it should be approachable and apologetic. The client should admit that he or she was late but insist that he or she is typically a reliable client of X years and will not continue to make the mistake. This strategy does actually work and is a great tool for your clients who have good credit histories, with just a few errors.
If you’re a Credit Repair Cloud user, you’ll find a great letter for this in the library. called “Goodwill Letter sent to Original Creditor” that you can easily modify to fit any scenario.
What to Include in a Goodwill Deletion Request Letter
When preparing a goodwill deletion letter on behalf of a client, there are six elements you should include. Based on the collective experience of many credit repair companies and a multitude of such goodwill deletion requests, these six elements are the key to a successful deletion, which results in credit score improvements and escalated client satisfaction with your services:
1. First-person client information
Like all dispute letters, you will pen the goodwill deletion request in the first-person, as if it is being written directly by your client. Make sure to include all of their identifying information
2. Relationship information
Include the length of time the customer has had a relationship with the creditor and the rate at which that relationship was a positive one.
3. The request
Be clear in your request for a goodwill adjustment for the purpose of reporting to the bureaus.
4. On-time history
Explain the length of time the account has been paid on-time to show that the current item was an anomaly.
Give a specific personal reason for the late payment, which explains why it was a one-time mistake that will not be repeated and what to expect from your client moving forward.
Be authentic in your final plea to remove the item given all of the information you shared.
Example Goodwill Deletion Letters
Each Goodwill Deletion Request Letter, of course, is unique. However, there certainly is a formula to follow that has proven most effective. This goodwill deletion request letter template will guide you as you personalize the request for your clients and their own situations.
Or, you can read this sample and create your own
Here’s a Sample Request for Goodwill Deletion letter:
Re: (Account number)
To Whom It May Concern,
I was advised to write to you by your customer service department concerning my credit rating with your company. I have been a (company name) customer since (date) and during that time, I have enjoyed my account with you greatly.
I’m writing to ask if you would be willing to make a “goodwill” adjustment to your reporting to the three credit bureaus. I have X late payments on my account that are from back in (date). Since that time I have been an exceptional customer paying every month on time. Because of my exceptional payment history over the last X years, I would like you to consider removing the X lates from my credit report.
At the time of the X late payments, I was in a financial dilemma due to (job loss, health issues, new baby, etc.). I am not writing this to justify why the payments were late, but rather to show that the late payments are not a good indicator of my actual credit worthiness. I hope that (Company name) is willing to work with me on erasing this mark from my credit reports. I have been a very happy customer for all these years and hope to continue a long relationship with (Company name).
The credit bureaus have advised me that they can remove the lates if they are instructed to by you, but they need to have that instruction in writing. Your customer service representative suggested that I write you for a “Goodwill Adjustment.” I beg that you may help me and take into consideration how good of a customer I have been and how long I have had an account with you.
Please let me know if there is any additional documentation that would help in reaching a positive outcome, and I thank you again for the time you have spent in reading this letter.
Where to Send the Request
This strategy is most successful when it is sent to the original creditor, not to the credit bureau. Bureaus are not likely to grant goodwill deletions, as they see them as creating inaccurate credit scores. Clients have more pull with creditors with whom they have existing relationships, regular payments, and the motivation to keep a long time customer happy. Goodwill deletions are a great option for clients who have made one or two small errors on an account, but have an otherwise good history. It is a great tool to offer clients when these accurate items cannot otherwise be deleted.
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