Goodwill Letter Template – How To Write A Proper Goodwill Letter?

By Rory Ackerman •  Updated: 08/11/22 •  8 min read
Filed under: Credit Score

Did you know that payment history affects your credit rating by 35%? On that note, any payment missed after more than 30 days past the due date could remain on your credit report for 7 years! Now it’s enough with the statistics and it’s about time we deal with one of the forms that might actually help you remove late payments from your report – a goodwill letter template.

It’s a way of pursuing a removal of your late payment from the report, by relying on the goodwill of your creditor. Of course, it sounds tough, and that’s exactly what it is. But, if you take the right steps to make a quality goodwill letter template, you’ll have higher chances of succeeding.

Let’s get you started on the road to writing a great goodwill letter with this guide!

How Do Goodwill Letters Help You Remove Late Payments?

Having a proper sample goodwill letter can help you write a persuasive letter that might eventually result in the removal of your late payment. Of course, there are other things to consider here, since not every negative listing from your credit report can be removed with goodwill letters.

Overall, missed payments are the best option, and even with these listings, it’s not 100% that you can actually get them removed. After all, you will be counting on the goodwill of your creditor alone, and it’s difficult to remove a payment that you never managed to make.

So, the first thing to do is to pay for the debt installment that you were late on. Of course, if you pay with a delay longer than 30 days, it will still leave a mark on your credit history.

Goodwill letters help you remove late payments, as your creditor will report it to the three credit bureaus if your plea is accepted. 

How To Write A Goodwill Letter?

Before writing your goodwill letter, there are some guidelines you can use. Think about it – no creditor will ever remove your late payment listing if you don’t utilize a polite tone of writing in the letter.

How To Write A Goodwill Letter

As much as this is important, using just a polite tone won’t get your request granted automatically, you need to state the reasons why you missed the payment, as well as some other details, so let’s go over it step by step:

1) Stress Your History With The Creditor

Your relationship with the lender or financial institution that’s the source of the negative listing is essential. If you want to have any chance of removing the negative information, you need to have a history of timely payments.

If it’s the only time you’ve missed a payment, that’s a good base for your goodwill letter. If you ask me, it’s a great starting point, so you can start by stressing your history with the creditor and that you’ve always made payments on time before.

Try to explain in a polite way that you are satisfied with the financial services provided by the creditor, and that you’d appreciate it if they consider your goodwill letter and remove the negative mark regarding that one missed payment.

2) Explain The Reasons Behind The Late Payment

Let’s get one thing straight here – nobody likes excuses, so you shouldn’t try to send a goodwill letter if you don’t have a solid reason to support your statement. Of course, we’ve all been there when it comes to unexpected situations that affect your financial situation, resulting in missed payments.

Don’t beat around the bush too much and explain the reasons in detail. You might have moved to another address and the bill was sent to an old one, or you might have had a transition in your workplace and it resulted in a lower salary for the time being.

Whatever the case, it’s always best to directly explain the reasons behind your late payments, as well as the intention to never miss a payment again.

3) Let The Creditor Know How It Affects You

As I said, nobody likes statistics when it comes to negative information on their credit report. Still, you’ll probably notice that a single missed payment leaves a mark on your credit history for 7 years.

I know, it’s a lot, and that’s exactly why you should also explain the consequences to your creditor. You might be prevented from qualifying for a mortgage or another type of credit. You can also refer to the documentation if you’ve already applied for the loan and the missed payment on your report prevents you from getting it approved.

4) Commit To Careful Financial Practices In The Future

Remember, it’s all about an emotional plea when sending a goodwill letter, so make sure to take full responsibility and make a plan that will help you avoid such situations in the future.

Of course, your financial hardship might also be unexpected, but still, try to explain to the creditor that you’ve prepared yourself for such situations in the future and that no other payment will be missed.

Trust me, it can work if you don’t have any prior missed payments with the creditor, and a goodwill letter structured properly can even result in lower interest rates for your next loan by raising your FICO score.

An Example Of A Goodwill Letter Template

Writing a goodwill letter to remove a negative item requires that you stick with a certain template. While there’s no exact goodwill letter form and slight variations are possible, here’s a goodwill letter sample you can use:



Creditor’s Address:

Your account number:

To the Creditor,

I want to express my appreciation to you for taking the time to read my letter, as I was instructed by your customer service to reach you this way. I’m extremely satisfied with our relationship, as I’ve been using you for (period since you opened an account) years. My satisfaction with your service is also supported by the on-time payments that I’ve made so far.

Sadly, I noticed a missed payment on my credit records concerning (the account number and payment date). This is the only payment that I’ve missed due to unexpected circumstances (brief explanation of the reason why you fell behind with payment). 

Because of this, my chances of applying for new credit (type of credit) are significantly lower. If you would consider making a goodwill adjustment, my chances of getting approved for the credit would be much higher.

As a responsible borrower, I commit to making timely payments from now on with no exception, as I’ve taken the steps to ensure making on-time payments in any situation. Thank you for your time and consideration.


Your name:


Of course, there are many goodwill letter templates you can use, and it’s only crucial that you include the details on the late payment, how it affects you in credit applications and interest rates offered, and the steps you’ll take to prevent it from happening again.

What Happens After You Send A Goodwill Letter?

The sad truth about a goodwill letter is that there’s no guarantee your negative listing will be removed. It’s all up to your creditor as they are under no obligation to respond to your goodwill letter in the first place.

If they do, and your goodwill letter is approved, the creditor will report your good standing to the three credit bureaus. Only then can you hope that your credit score will jump and you’ll get lower interest rates and a higher chance of loan approval.

Send A Goodwill Letter

I’d advise you to equip yourself with as much patience as possible, and not get your hopes too high. It’s still worth giving a shot if you ask me, as writing a goodwill letter only takes about an hour if you want to make it sound as good as possible.

You won’t waste much time, and it’s a worthy tradeoff to possibly get your negative mark removed from your credit report. 

Final Thoughts

In the end, sending a goodwill forgiveness removal letter gives you a decent shot at improving your personal finances if you’ve had timely financial habits with the lender. If it’s just one late payment that’s stopping you when applying for new credit, you should give it a try.

There’s no guarantee that credit bureaus will remove the listing from your credit report, but if you use a polite tone and the goodwill letter template recommended in this guide, you’ll at least have higher chances.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ):

Do goodwill letters still work in removing late payments from credit reports?

Yes, sending goodwill letters to the creditor still works, and it all depends on your previous payment history with the creditor, as well as the tone and template of your letter when it comes to getting the item removed.

What should I include in the goodwill letter template?

If you want to stand a higher chance of getting your credit history cleaned up and that one missed payment removed, you should state your history of timely payments with the creditor, express the reason why you were late with the payment, and stress how the negative mark reflects your ability to apply for new credit.

Which personal details should I include in a goodwill letter?

Besides a polite tone and proper goodwill letter template, you need to make it easy for the creditor to find details about the missed payment. Include your name, address, account number, and reference on the late payment along with the initial due date.

Rory AckermanRory Ackerman

Rory Ackerman

Hi, I'm Rory! I've worked in the banking industry for quite some time and wanted to help provide my expertise with all things credit related. In my spare time I like to play video games and collect sports cards.

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