Letter to Explain Late Payments

December 28, 2012

How to write a letter explaining late payments on your credit report when applying for a mortgage:

You’ve applied for a mortgage and, in the process, discover there are creditors who are reporting on your credit report that you have made some payments late. These late payments may not prevent you from qualifying for a mortgage, but you will have to explain, in writing, any late payments on your credit report to the underwriter. While this letter isn’t the cure-all for a severely negative credit report it may be just what it takes on a marginal one.

The basic premise of this letter is:

  • To state the situation you were in which caused you to pay late was beyond your control. (Death in the family, loss of job, medical emergency, etc.)
  • Express your determination to never let it happen again.
  • Outline the things you have done to make sure it doesn’t happen.

Things to bear in mind as your craft your letter:

  • This letter is from you. Write it in first person. Use the word “I.” It shows that you’re taking responsibility for the situation and not trying to cast blame elsewhere.imagesCACH173R
  • Write in complete sentences. Read your letter out loud, as it’s written, to see if it makes good sense and conveys exactly the message you intended.
  • Be sincere and contrite. This letter should convey exactly what happened, that you care about your credit history and how concerned you are by these derogatory items and how they reflect badly on your good name.
  • Use spellcheck.



To Whom it May Concern:

I am writing this letter to explain my late payments made to (creditor or creditors) in (insert date or dates).

I am so disappointed that I made these payments late, but I was , , . I had saved for emergencies but after those savings were drained, I was forced to miss a payment because of it. I thought to take a loan from my 401(k) but my financial planner advised against it. I have since been able to recover from this financial crisis and am making all of my payments on-time.

I prided myself in making timely payments and have again begun to put away more money in my savings account to guard against other unforeseen occurrences like this. I have also set up my financial obligations on auto-payment to be sure my payments are made in a timely manner.


Your signature

Do not use this letter. This is meant as an example only.


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