The goodwill letter is based on the fact that sometimes, getting what you want is just a matter of asking nicely. At the end of the day, we're all just people. When you owe money, sometimes the natural instinct is to just ignore those letters and phone calls. You know they won't go away, but the stress and the tension can grow if you've missed a few payments.
A goodwill letter is basically a way to acknowledge them, to let them know that you aren't some deadbeat who has zero intentions of handing their responsibilities, and that you are eager to continue building a strong relationship with them.
For example, you may have been going through a difficult personal time and forgotten to take care of a credit card bill that wasn't setup with automatic monthly payments. Many people have succeeded in having negative credit marks wiped from their credit reports through the use of goodwill letters.
What is important is that the debt has not yet gone to collections (if it has, you can propose a ‘pay for delete‘ scenario.) Chances are, the company that you owe the debt to would prefer to keep you as a customer or client, especially if you've established a history together.
It's important to have made up for your missed payments, as well. Another scenario is when you know ahead of time that you're going to be missing your minimum payments, you could send a preemptive goodwill letter to let them know what's going on. They may or may not be able to accommodate you, at their discretion, but giving them a heads up lets them know that you're aware of the gravity of the situation, and you're doing your best to be on top of things, as opposed to someone who just disappears and leaves them in the dark.
Writing a goodwill letter is the least formal of all credit repair letters, but sometimes people prefer to have it handled with the assistance of a company that specializes in communicating with creditors, banks, credit bureaus, and credit agencies.
We have included a sample goodwill letter on this page that you can use as a reference. We strongly recommend drafting your own version of a goodwill letter that is unique to your situation, rather than just using this one verbatim. We must inform you that this sample goodwill letter was not prepared by a lawyer, and that we are in no way qualified to offer you legal advice in any way, shape, or form.
Here is a sample goodwill letter
Attn: (Name of Creditor's Company)
(Address of Creditor)
Regarding account number:
I am writing to you today for two reasons. Firstly, I am grateful for the relationship we have established over the (months, years, decades), and it has been my pleasure to do business with. Secondly, I'm writing in regards to a report on my credit file which I'm hoping that you can revise, given the circumstances that I am about to share with you.
Ever since receiving my (Credit card / loan / whatever type of service you have debt for), I have taken great pride in keeping my account well-serviced and up-to-date. You held up your end of the bargain, but unfortunately due to (a recent tragedy / loss of employment / injury or hospitalization / whatever your reason is for missing the payment), I have been unable to hold up my end of our agreement.
After going through (event), I now realize that I wasn't fully prepared, financially. This experience has provided me with an important wake-up call, and I have taken steps to ensure that such an event never happens again, even when life throws a curve ball. During (event/reason for missed payments), I was also responsible to provide for (family, children, loved one, dependent), and their well-being is my number one priority, thus I was forced to prioritize my finances accordingly.
My account with your organization is now current, however the strike against my credit report may make it difficult for me to unlock the best interest rates as (my spouse and I, my family and I, or just myself) begin to shop for a new home. Seeing as my account is now current, I am hopeful that we can work together to remove this negative notation from my credit report. I'm asking you to revise those trade lines, doing so will give me a second opportunity at a great credit score.
If there is anything I can do, including any further documentation, that could help us in reaching the desired outcome, please contact me, I am always available for a discussion.
Thank you kindly for taking the time to hear my story, and to consider my request. I fully understand the position that my actions, or lack thereof, in regards to my account, have put you in – and I accept responsability for said actions. None the less, I am sincerely hopeful that there will an opportunity for me to redeem myself.
(Full name, signed.)