Now that I have spent hours pouring over payment history to figure out how this happened I think I may have a more convincing explanation as to how this late payment thing happened then just oops I forgot.
This is my husband's student loan the late payment got reported for. He has had this loan for years and years and has always gone in every other month or so and scheduled out the payments for the next few months. I can go back through the life of the loan and see this pattern, he is almost always paid a month or two in advance even. On Jan 3 this year he scheduled 2 payments, for 1/4 and 1/23 to cover Jan and Feb. Then the next payment doesn't appear until May 13, but he scheduled 3 payments approximately 3 weeks apart to cover (what he thought was) May, June and July. He was under the assumption that he had paid March and April a few months before as he always had. He didn't know he ever missed a payment until we got blindsided by this the other day. He of course doesn't exactly recall going in to schedule these payements as it would have been in March. However in March he also was told last minute that he was going on a whirlwind international 3 week trip to rural China, Japan and India. He had extremely shady internet connection, and I would not be surprised if he tried to go in to schedule some payments (all his other obligations were taken care of at this time, so I have to believe he would not have just randomly forgotten his student loan bills) and possibly couldn't get in. Not that would be ACS fault obviously, but I want to go through his emails and see if there is anything at all from them at that time frame. His report says he was late in September and October, even though he made several payments in August and September (they were just applied to previous unpaid months, unbeknownst to him. They never chaged any late fees at all which further leads me to understand how he just had no idea he was late).
If I can't find any way to prove he actually did schedule those payments, I can at least try to get someone a shred sympathetic on the phone to look at the payment history with me to see how this happened and this latest late payment report is a hiccup from something earlier this year that we didn't even realize was a problem until now. At the very least this scenario is much easier to explain to an underwriter with payment history to back me up than just "oops we forgot".
Sorry if you actually read this. I can't stop thinking about this and need to get it out somewhere