Goodwill letters can sometimes be used to clean up your credit report somewhat. Basically they are letters that ask your creditor(s) to remove long-ago negatives from your credit report purely out of goodwill.

For example, maybe you lost your job back in 2004 and made a couple of late payments, but you’ve been a good customer and paid your account on time ever since. Asking for those long-ago late payments to be removed can’t hurt, especially if you have received notice that your insurance costs are going to be based on your credit score or if you are preparing to shop for a mortgage.

Personalize your letter based on your specific situation and be honest. A sample goodwill letter might go something like this:

To whom it may concern:

I am writing to ask for your help and understanding. Back in 2004, I lost my job and made two late payments. I hated paying late, and I still feel badly about it even now. As soon as I was able, I brought my account current and have made timely payments ever since.

That year was a huge wake up call for me — I turned my financial life around after that, built an emergency fund, and worked hard on making financially responsible decisions. I want to thank you for continuing to have me as a customer during that time and beyond.

I was recently notified that my car insurance rates are going to be based on my credit score, which means that those late payments from back in 2004 will probably prevent me from getting the best insurance rates. I would like to request a goodwill adjustment removing those late payments from my credit report.

Thank you for your time and consideration. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Sincerely,

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Typed Name
Address
Account Number

Remember, creditors are not obligated to remove negatives like that from your report unless they are a mistake. And if the negatives are a mistake, you should write a dispute letter asking for their removal instead.