How to Write a Student Loan Goodwill Letter to Save Your Credit: Sample Included
Late or missing student loan payments can cause your credit score to tank. Read on for a sample letter to remove a student loan from your credit report.
Not making on-time payments on your student loans will negatively impact your credit score. On the upside, you may be able to rescue your damaged credit score by writing a student loan goodwill letter.
It’s not a guarantee, but sending one might be worth the effort. The worst thing that could happen is that your loan servicer could deny your request. But you could get lucky, and the lender could ask the credit bureaus to take your late payments off your credit history.
Let’s g over what you need to know, including a sample letter you can use to remove a late student loan payment from your credit report.
What Is a Student Loan Goodwill Letter?
A goodwill letter is a letter you send to your loan servicer to request that, in an act of goodwill, it remove any late or missed student loan payments from your credit report. Since late payments are a major red flag, your credit score could tank if you don’t make on-time payments.
One possible consequence of having a low credit score is being denied a loan. And even if you do qualify for a car loan, mortgage or personal loan, you could be charged high fees and interest rates.
Writing a goodwill letter is your best bet if you were the one who caused the late or missed payment and you want to explain why it happened. If a reported late payment was because of your loan servicer’s mistake, then you’ll need to dispute it with the credit bureau directly.
If you can successfully convince your lender you’re still a reliable borrower, you may have these negative remarks on your credit report removed. If so, your credit score could see a sharp improvement reasonably quickly.
Will My Goodwill Letter Work?
No matter how well written your goodwill letter is, there is no guarantee that the lender will agree to your request. The decision is totally up to the lender, which may not accept or care about the circumstances that resulted in your missed or late payment.
But you may get a sympathetic reader who understands why you made a late student loan payment, especially if it was due to an illness, a sudden job loss or other unexpected circumstances.
If you explain what happened in a polite and appreciative tone, your lender might be receptive to your request.
When you write your letter, carefully explain what happened that got you into a financial pickle — aka what resulted in your late or missed payment. Admit your mistake and conclude by assuring the loan servicer that it won’t happen again and that missing a payment is rare for you.
Sample Letter to Remove Student Loan From Credit Report
Each borrower’s goodwill letter will be unique, but this sample can give you a good start for how to structure yours. Remember: You should write your letter with a friendly and appreciative tone while being clear in your request. All letters should include the loan account number, the borrower’s contact information, and details about the late or missed payment.
Dear [loan servicer name],
My name is [your name], and my student loan account number is [your account number]. I discovered there was a late payment reported on Jan. 1, 2021, on my credit report. I understand that my actions resulted in this late payment.
I want to let you know that I am willing to do everything I can to pay back my student loans in full and on time. Sadly, I recently underwent major surgery and have been negotiating with my health insurance company for months about my five-figure medical bill. Due to this unexpected expense, my budget was stretched too thin. I also had to take unpaid time off work and could not keep up with payments.
I assure you that missing payments is rare for me. You can check my payment history to see that I’ve always made on-time payments (and sometimes more than the minimum amount) other than this one time. Once I went back to work, I was able to balance my budget and resumed making my loan payments on time.
I am concerned that my low credit score may result in me having to pay a higher interest rate for a home equity loan I plan to take out. I don’t feel as though my credit report reflects the kind of responsible borrower I truly am.
I request that you remove the late payment as a goodwill gesture. I appreciate and thank you for your consideration and hope that my request will be granted.
How long does it take to get a response to a goodwill letter?
It may take a few weeks to get a response from your lender. You can follow up by calling your lender if you haven’t heard anything after a few weeks.
If Your Request Is Denied
There’s a chance your lender won’t approve your request. If your credit score is negatively affected, you’ll have to take steps to rebuild your credit. The best way to do so is to keep making on-time payments, to be careful about closing old accounts, and to avoid maxing out your credit cards, among other steps.
If you’re still struggling with making your student loan payments, contact your lender to see what can be done, such as adjusting your monthly payments or exploring your options for loan deferment or forbearance. You may be able to reach an agreement and prevent further damage to your credit.
Also consider refinancing through an organization such as Juno, which could help you save tens of thousands of dollars throughout the life of your loan. Juno negotiates with partner lenders on behalf of borrowers to help each student qualify for the best refinance rates they can given their financial situation.
Sarah Li Cain
Sarah Li Cain is a finance writer and a candidate for the Accredited Financial Counselor designation whose work has appeared in places like Bankrate, Business Insider, Financial Planning Association, Investopedia, Kiplinger, and Redbook. She’s the host of Beyond The Dollar, where she and her guests have deep and honest conversations about money affects their well-being.
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