You’re going to find that from time to time, you’re going to be late on a payment, and that’s okay!  If you’re debt, and you have an explanation, it’s better to send the company a letter, rather than just ignoring them.  If you show them a little responsibility with regards to this matter, you’ll find that some companies may actually extend your payment period, therefore not hurting your credit score.

How you can write a late payment explanation letter…

Why you are late - The first that you want to state is why you’re late with your payment.  There’s no need to make excuses here, but tell them how it is.  Did you lose your job?  Are you having a hard time feeding your family?  You’ll want to be as honest as possible here, because the companies can catch you in a lie, trust me.

Tell them how you’ll fix it - In this letter, you’ll want to apologize, and assure the company that you’re going to pay off your debts in the future.  Tell them what you’re doing with your life, and how you’re going to pay your bills.  You won’t want to be too personal, but they will get the point, if you tell them the truth.

Show them a game plan - I know you’re going to tell them how you’re going to fix it, but the more detailed you are with your plans, the better.  If you’re job hunting, let them know.  If you’re going to sell a few things, let them know about this as well.  You’ll find that if you’re honest, they are going to trust you with your letter.

The trick here is to keep your letter sweet, and simple.  As long as you get your point across, and tell them how it’s going to work out, they will most likely cut you some slack.  Make sure that you also send this letter via certified mail, to ensure that they did receive it.

Here’s a sample that I worked up that you can look at…

John Doe
123 Main St.
Anywhere, USA

To:  Credit Card Company XYZ
RE:  Late payment on Account #123ABC

I’m writing this letter to you today to explain why I’m not able to make a payment on my account.  Earlier this year, I was laid off my job, and I have found that it’s extremely hard to pay my bills to survive, let alone feed my children.

Right now, I’m searching 8 hours a day, trying to find a job.  With my expertise in my field, I can assure you that I will be employed in the next couple months.  Once I gain my employment back, I will be able to make these payments in full once again.

Please be assured that I’m trying my best to pay these bills, and I’m not ignoring your bills at all.  If there’s anything you can do for me, such as extending my payment deadline, or working out a lower payment, can you please reach me at 555-1212.

John Doe