You probably signed up for your Kohl’s card years ago as a way to earn a discount when you shop. These cards are easy to sign up for, but they’re even easier to forget about because you don’t use them very often.
But if you’ve missed payments on your Kohl’s card, these will be reported to the three major credit bureaus and can cause a big drop in your credit score. Fortunately, it is possible to have Kohl’s late charges removed from your credit report.
How Does a Kohl’s Late Payment Affect My Credit Score?
If your Kohl’s payment is more than 30 days late, your creditor may choose to report it to the credit bureaus. The payment will be listed based on how late it is or whether it’s already been charged off as bad debt.
According to Equifax, even one missed payment could cause your credit score to drop. And any derogatory marks on your credit report will stay there for up to seven years.
The degree to which a late charge affects your credit score depends on several factors. Here is a brief overview of how credit reporting agencies evaluate late payments:
- How recently the late charge occurred
- How many days late the charge is
- The size of the payment
- Whether you have a history of paying your bills late
Your payment history accounts for 35% of your credit score, so missed payments matter quite a bit. According to FICO data, one payment that’s 30-days late could cause your score to drop by 60 to 110 points.
How Can I Remove Kohl’s Late Payments From My Credit Report?
Late payments can be a drag on your FICO score and affect your lending decisions for years to come. Fortunately, it is possible to get these charges removed by taking the following steps.
1. Review Your Credit Report
Just knowing your credit score isn’t going to shed much light on how you can improve your score. So it’s also a good idea to regularly review your credit report from the three major credit bureaus:
Reviewing your credit report will help you see if anything is amiss. And you want to review all three credit reports because each credit bureau does things a little differently.
When reviewing your three credit reports, look for any late charges associated with your MyKohl’s Charge Card account. This will tell you when Kohl’s reported the charges to the credit bureaus and how many days overdue they are.
If there are inaccurate late payments on your credit report, you can contact the credit bureau to have them removed. But if the charges are accurate, the credit bureau will be unlikely to remove them for you. So your next step is to contact Kohl’s directly.
2. Send Kohl’s a Goodwill Letter
If you have a history of paying your bills on time and this was just a one-time slip-up, Kohl’s may be willing to remove the charges if you send them a goodwill letter. It’s not impossible if you have a history of making late payments, but it will be harder.
A goodwill letter is a request to your lender or creditor to remove a missed payment from your credit report. Kohl’s is under no obligation to honor your request. However, if they agree to it, this is known as a goodwill adjustment.
To improve your chances, you should explain why you missed the payment and include any relevant documents. For instance, it will help your case if you’ve already repaid the charges.
Or, if you missed the payment due to an emergency, you should include documentation of this. Here is a sample goodwill letter you can use to get started.
Since you’re asking them to do you a favor, you should never be rude or take a negative tone with Kohl’s. And make sure you follow up by phone or email within 30 days of sending the letter. There’s always the chance your letter could get overlooked or sent to the wrong person.
3. Request Pay-For-Delete
If your late payments have been sent to a collection agency, you can also try sending your creditor a pay-for-delete letter. This is a letter requesting that the charges be deleted from your credit report in exchange for you paying the account in full.
This is some disagreement about pay-for-delete letters and whether they are the best strategy for improving your credit. Of course, sending a pay-for-delete letter won’t necessarily work, but if you go about it the right way, it can’t hurt to try.
If your creditor agrees to your request, make sure you receive this agreement in writing and keep it in your files. And once they’ve agreed to the arrangement, make sure you repay your debt in full.
4. Work With a Professional
Negotiating with your lenders to have your Kohl’s charges removed can be time-consuming and frustrating. And at the end of the day, your creditor may not agree to remove the charges.
So if you find yourself at a dead-end, you can try working with a professional credit repair company to improve your credit score. Make sure you choose a reputable company with the experience to help you resolve these issues.
How Can I Get the Late Fees Waived?
Kohl’s charges late fees up to $38 for every missed payment. If you’ve missed quite a few payments, this can add up quickly.
Your priority should be addressing any damage to your credit report, but once that’s done, it doesn’t hurt to try to get the late fees waived. You can contact Kohl’s and ask them to reverse the late fees.
If you’re a long-term customer and have a history of making your payments on time, they may be willing to remove one or two late fees.
Going forward, it may be worth considering auto-payments or just paying off the card entirely so you don’t run into this situation again.
Your payment history is one of the most important factors of your FICO score. So if you’ve accidentally racked up late charges on your Kohl’s card, this can have a serious impact on your credit score.
Fortunately, it’s possible to work with your lender and have these charges removed. But keep in mind, removing derogatory charges from your credit report is only half the battle.
Going forward, make sure you pay your bills on time and adopt good financial habits. This is the best way to build strong credit for years to come.