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Goodwill Primer

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Goodwill Primer

A lot of folks, myself included, have success with it. However, you can also find a lot of folks with little to no success with GW.

The potential payoff is high--deletion of adverse info.

The risk is low--41 cents. Do NOT send GW letters CMRRR. They might think you're a nutcase who's planning to sue 'em. Nutcases aren't good candidates for GW. Don't be a nutcase.

The odds are better than Vega$.

But GW ain't guaranteed, there's no statute in FDCPA or FCRA, and there's no caselaw. [Yes, I have been asked for the statute.]

Goodwill is goodwill.
1. friendly disposition; benevolence; kindness. 
2. cheerful acquiescence or consent. 
3. Commerce. an intangible, salable asset arising from the reputation of a business and its relations with its customers, distinct from the value of its stock and other tangible assets. 

GW might be extended for a number of reasons. You manage to make them feel sorry for you. You convince them that although you tried to keep up with your bills, circumstances got the best of you. You make them believe you've seen the error of your ways, learned your lesson, and are ready to move forward as a good consumer and responsible debtor for many years to come.

Lates are good candidates for GW, assuming the account was PIF or settled. A PIF account with lates on it is more likely to succeed than would a settled account with lates. However, I got a settled account with lates removed thru GW. It happens.

If your GW attempt fails on a settled account, you do have some leverage to go back at them for a PFD. Because you still owe money on the settled account, the difference between what you owed and what you paid could be used to negotiate a PFD. Do not start out offering the full difference between what you paid and what you owed. Expect some sort of haggling. If you offer the whole farm up front they might say, OK, pay up and we'll fix you later. Only later never comes.

Some have reported success with GW getting collections and charge offs deleted. I tried with a paid collection. No dice, but it was AMEX. They are a tough one. Very matter of fact and by the book when it comes to adverse reporting. They generally don't budge much, if at all. However, AMEX can be very generous with CLIs, and despite the perception of them as catering only to the wealthy, Green and Delta Skymiles cards get issued to folks with FICOs in the high 500s to low 600s. If you owe them money on a defaulted account, and you pay up, you can get back in their good graces via the Oasis Optima program.

You probably are not going to GW away a car repo, but I won't say never and don't try. In theory, they might change the reporting from repo to 60 days late.

Foreclosure, BK or defaulted student loans are not going away with GW.

GW is cheap and easy, once you get the hang of it. Read all the GW letters you can find. There are some here. Others out there on CIC, CB and other forums. Study GW letters. Get a feel for it. There is both an art and a science to GW. Think about your circumstances. Apply your experience. Do NOT copy a GW letter verbatim. There are probably 4-5 different factlets that won't match your situation, and it will look suspicious. Try to be honest. At least make your story plausible.

Question always comes up of to whom one should send GW letters. I used the address on my CRs and I used the greeting of Dear Madam or Sir. Didn't address the envelope to any specific person. Others say send your GW letters to CEOs and other corporate execs. I still tend to believe you are more likely to get GW from a working stiff than an exec, but more and more folks are reporting success with the exec approach.

Some are even using Email and reporting success with it. With Google or a company website you can probably figure out the name of the CEO. With continued googling you can often start finding Email addresses of people in that company. Find a couple of Email addresses, and you start seeing a sequence of how to construct an Email address for a CEO.

For example, after finding the Email addresses of and, you might deduce that CEO John Ross "J.R." Wellington has an Email address of or or or some other combo. Watch for bounces. I use a delivery and read receipt to help knowing whether it's been received and read.

Another option for communicating with CEOs is PFB.

Sample GW letters.

Message Edited by Noah_Bodie on 04-29-2009 02:10 PM
Message 1 of 24
Moderator Emeritus

Re: Goodwill Primer

Message 2 of 24
Not applicable

Re: Goodwill Primer

what department would you send a gw to?
Message 3 of 24
Not applicable

Re: Goodwill Primer

Opinions vary. See above.
Message 4 of 24
Not applicable

Re: Goodwill Primer

I have a couple medical accounts that went into collections and I have since paid them off however they still show up as collection accounts If I try a GW letter would I address it to the collection company of the Doctor?
Message 5 of 24
Valued Contributor

Re: Goodwill Primer

GW's do work - I have had success with two different OC's in getting 30-day lates deleted. I used the sample provide by Mr. Tuscani - almost verbatim.
New York Yankees - 2009 World Series Champions. 27... and counting.....
Message 6 of 24
Established Member

Re: Goodwill Primer

I have a joint Wachovia account on my credit report that has several late payments, the most recent of which is 3 years old. It was ultimately paid off and closed in good standing but I really hate the idea of these being on my credit report for 4 more years. I'm interested in trying a goodwill approach but there is no account number on my credit report ("Not on Record"). I don't have any paperwork on this account and have no idea what the account number was (It was my mother's account... I got called once telling me she was late and paid it off and didn't think anything else of until I saw it on my credit report several years ago when I became aware of such things). Two questions: 1) How do I identify the account in my goodwill letter since I don't know the account number? 2) Does anyone have any previous success with this approach with Wachovia? Thanks in advance for any assistance...
Message 7 of 24
Not applicable

Re: Goodwill Primer (Can I?)

The ONLY negative in my credit report is a 90 days late with Chase from March, 2004. Even though this is my only negative/adverse, ever, I still get the occasional mention of it. (Wells Fargo just declined a credit limit increase request and stated the reasons included seriously delinquent history)

Can I use GW to try and get the 90 days late (and subsequently the 60 and 30 days that accompanied it) deleted from my credit report? Does this erase the entire account or just that adverse 90 days late? (and 60 and 30 with it) The account was "closed by credit grantor" following the 90 days and is still closed.

How should I go about this? Should I first ask that the account be reopened? I don't know what my score is currently, but about 3 months following the 90 days late my score was 622 and so I'm sure it's at least near 700 since in my 4 year total history (my credit history begins Sept 2003) I have nothing but "currents" and have maintained at least minimal activity each month since then.

I just checked my credit report with TU, EQ and EX and everything is clean except for the 90 days (and the 60 and 30 days) and the "account closed by credit grantor". I do have a high Util %, but that is because my credit limits are low. ($2,500, $700 and $1000) I also have about 10k over 3 different student loans.

The circumstances were that I am a student and I transfered schools between fall semester 2003 and spring 2004 and my address was never updated despite having called and changed it with a rep. Since statements weren't going to my new address, and I was a young oblivious college student, I forgot about that card (which I wasn't using at the time) and it went 90 days late before I wised up to the missing statements and started making payments again, and I PIF around June of 2004. (the last time the card was actually used was November 2003 and was initially opened by a predatory phone rep) I think that was before Chase worked out bugs with their online payment system, because until around May of 2004 I had made every payment over the phone and deducted it from my checking, and each time had to ask that they waive the over-the-phone payment fee. (and they did every time) I actually spent over $300 in finance charges and late fees on a $300 balance, on top of the actual balance itself. I spent a year trying to get them to refund these and gave up after they credited $100 and wouldn't budge any further. At this point I don't care about that money-just that I might possibly get this adverse 90 days off my record.

On a different note, since I have few revolving accounts and they all have low balances, would it be a good idea to apply for an AMEX card and more or less not use it, to try and get a Util boost? I only use my $2,500 and $700 cards and lately I have been paying them off each month. But even still--carrying a $1000 balance is 40% of the 2.5k card utilization.

Thank you very much in advance for any help!


Message Edited by deuce on 11-14-2007 05:54 PM
Message 8 of 24
Not applicable

Re: Goodwill Primer

I sent a goodwill letter by email on a school loan and they had it deleted from my report.  They work for sure.  I tried for years to get these off my report, crazy is all it took was for me to spend ten mins writing good will email to get it off.
All I did was google the company name and it listed several of financial supervisor emails.  I copied em down, wrote my email and sent it to about 20 different emails. The one I had luck with was a secratary that replied back to me saying, I cant help you with this but my boss can he forwarded it to him.  The same day her boss replied to me saying that everyone has problems and would take care of it.  It was deleted from my report at the end of the month. 

Message Edited by rbenson11 on 11-15-2007 08:35 AM
Message 9 of 24
Not applicable

Re: Goodwill Primer

What exactly goes on with the GW? This is for accounts that are current, except have past negative history?

What do they remove? The whole account? Just the bad marks that you request?
Message 10 of 24
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