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New Member
Oklahomasam
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎10-27-2012

Question about goodwill letters and joint accounts

[ Edited ]

First, I'd like to say this is a fantastic website that offers a ton of excellent informtion. 

 

So the issue at hand is this:    My wife paid the mortgage late resulting in a thirty day late black mark on both of our credit reports. I have always been proactive about watching my credit, have been fairly disciplined, and enjoyed watching it rise to a score of nearly 800, and I thank this website in large part for that success.   

 

As expected, the 30 day late has knocked my scores into the middle seven's, and her scores are significantly lower than that.  My questions are: If I send a letter of goodwill and if they accept it, does anyone know if the adjustment will be applied to both my account and my wife's account (our mortgage is joint) or will the adjustment be applied to my account alone?  Does it matter which of us submits a letter asking for goodwill?

 

This is the only negative I have had in over ten years and have no other lates, BKs, or collections on my reports other than one credit card just over 50%. 

 

Her timing was particularly bad since we were planning on selling the house and moving to another part of the country in the next six months, but with her new, even lower score, probably in the very low sixes at best, we will be unable to take advantage of the extraordinarily good mortgage rates. 

 

Valued Contributor
beb86
Posts: 1,117
Registered: ‎10-31-2011

Re: Question about goodwill letters and joint accounts

I think if you admit to the error and state that this is the only bad mark on your squeaky clean CR and if the could make a "goodwill" adjustment I think you have a pretty good shot!!!

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New Member
Oklahomasam
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎10-27-2012

Re: Question about goodwill letters and joint accounts

Thank you for the reply, Beb86. 

 

What I need to know is whether we should each send a GW letter, or is it better for just one of us to send a GW letter? And if we send one letter that is accepted, will both of our scores be adjusted?

 

Our primary goal is to fix my wife's credit, since her score is significantly lower. If I send the letter and it only affects my score, we still have the same issue.   

Valued Contributor
my-own-fico
Posts: 1,141
Registered: ‎01-05-2010

Re: Question about goodwill letters and joint accounts

That's terribly irritating of course, and I hope the goodwill works out. For future reference, you (and others) may want to consider automated payments with the respective lenders to make sure nothing falls through the cracks. I also have a spreadsheet for household finances and compare it with the bank checking account balance about twice a week. If there's a difference, something is up. I cannot think of a more painfree alert system.

When it comes to wishful thinking vs reality, wishful thinking wins.
Valued Contributor
beb86
Posts: 1,117
Registered: ‎10-31-2011

Re: Question about goodwill letters and joint accounts


my-own-fico wrote:

That's terribly irritating of course, and I hope the goodwill works out. For future reference, you (and others) may want to consider automated payments with the respective lenders to make sure nothing falls through the cracks. I also have a spreadsheet for household finances and compare it with the bank checking account balance about twice a week. If there's a difference, something is up. I cannot think of a more painfree alert system.


+1 and I also include that in your GW letter " as a result of my oversight I have enrolled in auto payments blah blah blah..."

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New Member
Oklahomasam
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎10-27-2012

Re: Question about goodwill letters and joint accounts

Every bill I'm responsible for is on autopay except the trash bill, and that's because they want cash. However, if my wife has explained this correctly to me (She's living in another state right now), the payment is automatic but was rejected because there weren't enough funds available.  This could have been remedied with a simple account transfer, but that would have only been possible had she been paying attention. 

 

Ironically, even though I swear by autopay, I can also see it causing problems with those who feel once it's set, they don't have to do anything else. 

Valued Contributor
my-own-fico
Posts: 1,141
Registered: ‎01-05-2010

Re: Question about goodwill letters and joint accounts

And then there are situations where even paying attention isn't enough. When something unexpected beyond your control takes place.

I once paid a non-monthly newspaper bill manually online the morning after having received it by email, which stated the amount and a due date and not much else. A few days later I realized the bill had also been paid by automated payment. When I called the newspaper, they could verify that two such payments had been made, but could be not sure which payment happened first and why the second payment would extend the subscription rather than not take place. My guess is that the two forms of payment operate within separate systems, which may not sync until the following night. I also asked why the automated payment wouldn't kick on the due date or near it, and they said that for unspecified reasons it would occur three weeks ahead of the due date, which is the day after the bill. The subscriber service in short was so clueless that much they couldn't tell me and also never have told me, and most of the rest they couldn't explain. I furthermore have to find out myself that the reason there was no verification possible online of automated payments being active stemmed from the browser blocking popup windows. It is at the point that the term stupid idiot springs to mind.

Such a collision would ordinarily not have any consequences, but this time it did, in two ways. 1) The automated payment happened to post on the statement date of the credit card in question. I made a payment to the card to try to keep the reported balance at zero, but it was too late and meant that a credit score experiment I was conducting was tossed out the window. I am just glad that a lender wouldn't check my scores soon afterwards. 2) The payment amount to the credit card happened to be larger than the balance on my checking account within a very narrow time window. I transferred money to the checking that evening, but the transfer was listed with a posted date of the following day, so the account was technically overdrawn and was slapped with a fee. Again, I'm glad that a lender wasn't about to check my finances. If the newspaper had a regular monthly or bi-monthly billing schedule, it would be easy to know when to expect it, and if there had been a real grace period for automated payment like most everyone else does, then fine. So I'm doomed if I keep the newspaper's automated payment and I'm doomed if I don't.

Maybe I'll go for manually paying a year at a time like with the insurances.

When it comes to wishful thinking vs reality, wishful thinking wins.

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