You should avoid late payments on your credit report as much as possible. Even a single late payment of over 90 days notated can cause your credit score to drop from 90 to 110 points.
There are some things that you can do to address these and clean up your credit report. You should start with asking for a Goodwill Adjustment from your creditor. If you have been timely in your past payment history, the creditor is more likely to accept this request, especially if you have been a customer for some time.
In your request, you are asking the creditor to take off the late payment listing in a gesture of customer goodwill as you have generally been a standout customer.
Making such an appeal involves writing the credit card issuer (or other lender) a letter to explain what happened. Perhaps you suffered from an unexpected emergency or situation that caused you to be late. Maybe you want to improve your credit score as much as possible so that you can qualify for a car loan or mortgage.
Provide the details of your personal story so that the agent reading the letter understands your personal situation. A lot of consumers have enjoyed success using this process as so many creditors are not willing to risk you closing the account over one late payment reporting.
Sign Up to Do Automatic Bill Payment
There are other cases where the creditor may consent to delete the late payment report if you will sign up to do automatic bill payment. You both win in such a scenario. Your account becomes updated to current and you enjoy the convenience of not needing to remember to pay your bill. This will save you being late in the future. Meanwhile, the creditor is assured of getting payments on time every month.
This method is more successful if you have been late from time to time in the past but are not much delinquent with your account. By proving that you have been capable of making your payments more or less on time, you will enjoy better success with this negotiating tactic. Again, this strategy works best if you have been with the creditor longer term.
In the event that you can not get them to remove the late payment willingly or through your own efforts, there are a number of well regarded credit repair companies who will be happy to help you (for a price).
These companies are staffed by highly experienced and knowledgeable pros that can help you with this and other derogatory listings found on your personal credit report.