About 6 years ago, I became 'late' on some payments to the then Sallie Mae. I am current now (have been ever since) although because it was three loans from the same company, there are three bad marks against me. I believe that I was still in school back then and in fact a separate loan agency changed their report that I was late when I sent them my transcripts. I did the same with Sallie Mae and they still refused to change it... I have no idea what to do because I legitimately wasn't late (I was in school still). I filed a credit dispute and honestly keep doing so ever time I check my report just to try my luck. It's stupid that any company can have such clout with the credit agencies -whatever happened to the customer is always right?

I've thought about contacting Navient again and asking if I pay off the loans outright (they are only ~10k cumulative) will they change their report but am unsure if that will even work. Also, considering I have a clean report barring these three marks, can I potentially say something like "I've never made a mistake before, can you just 'forgive' these?" similar to how a judge might throw out your first speeding ticket?

So the bottom line is how do I remove these false marks? It seems to me that there should be some kind of adjudication field in the credit report that allows the consumer to address the context around a black mark.

  • People commenting on the relevance of 3 late payments are doing so in complete ignorance because we don't know your base score. You should be able to tell EXACTLY how many points the 3 late payments equal. They may / may not be material. Example: you're at 780 and the 3 late payments are negative 60 points? 720 is still a very good score and you'd be able to qualify for a lot of additional credit (other factors aside.) But, if your base was only say 680, then -60 points hurts a lot! That said, @Brythan 's answer is best. Wait a 1 year. And disputing can reset the clock in some circumstances.
    – maplemale
    Commented Aug 26, 2016 at 17:46
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    The customer has never been always right.
    – user27283
    Commented Aug 26, 2016 at 18:46
  • @maplemale you seen to have a lot of opinions on this matter. You might consider putting an answer together instead of commenting on everything. Commented Aug 26, 2016 at 19:36
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    @maplemale. Thank you for making my point. Your 600 score example had issues already, the late payments would make it worse but the score already sucks due to other problems. Adding late payments would not be likely to make a substantial difference
    – homer150mw
    Commented Aug 26, 2016 at 22:51
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    You became 'late' - why the quotes? Do you or don't you agree that you were late on three payments? Commented Aug 27, 2016 at 6:20

2 Answers 2


You say

So about 6 years ago, I became 'late' on some payments to the then sallie mae.

Experian says

Late payments remain seven years from the original delinquency date.

So if you wait about a year, the late mark will disappear. That's going to be the simplest and most reliable way to get rid of it.

It is possible to contest negative marks with the credit agencies. I believe that you have to contact each credit agency showing the negative mark separately. Some have reported that failed attempts can reset the seven year clock. I can't confirm or deny that. Be careful.

  • It's important to keep in mind that they show the stratus of all payments. One late payment compared to 70ish on time payments is pretty trivial.
    – homer150mw
    Commented Aug 26, 2016 at 17:27
  • @homer150mw "...is pretty trivial" - is not an accurate statement. It depends on what the base score is without the negative line item. It depends on dozens of other factors as well and could easily move you from the preferred to NOT preferred borrower category. The answer about whether it's material or not is: It depends. Depending on the type of account, some creditors only report negative items. Thus, on time payments may mean literally nothing.
    – maplemale
    Commented Aug 26, 2016 at 18:24
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    @maplemale if these 3 late payments 6 years ago are the only negatives then it is likely that they will be fairly trivial. If there are other negative issues that is a whole different can of worms. Since formulas for credit report are proprietary we can't know exactly how much difference the 3 late payments make but due to their age and assuming no other negative hits on the credit score the effect of these 3 payments should be minimal.
    – homer150mw
    Commented Aug 26, 2016 at 20:51
  • @homer150mw I don't believe the age of a late payment effects its negative point value. I once had a -70 points from a Verizon account that I let go to collections when I was teenager. It stayed -70 points for 7 years.
    – maplemale
    Commented Aug 26, 2016 at 21:56
  • @homer150mw Also... your statement about showing the "status of all payments" isn't necessarily correct. It depends on the kind of account. Not all account types report on-time payments.
    – maplemale
    Commented Aug 26, 2016 at 22:11

One way to kill a business is to subscribe to a philosophy of "the customer is always right". You might want to read The Pumpkin Plan for more information.

My advice is to talk to the company, ask if they will remove it, call like once a month. Be nice act like they are doing you a favor. Most of the time you will call and get someone who will not help you. When you find the "gem in the crowd" they might go to bat for you and do all they can to have it removed.

Secondly, I would have my student loan paid off ASAP anyway. You should be able to do that in 6 months or so.

Third, what does it really matter if this never goes away? Having three late payments 6 years ago does not significantly ding your credit score. One way to improve it far beyond this negative is to just pay the stupid loan(s) off.

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    +1 for pay them off ASAP. 6 years is almost forever ago for something small like a late payment. I had a medical bill go to collections because I moved and never got the bill. I found out about it when I went to buy a home a couple years later and paid it immediately. It had no impact on the loan terms then and no impact on my credit score now.
    – homer150mw
    Commented Aug 26, 2016 at 15:31
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    -1 for pay them off ASAP. Paying them off is not at all relevant to the question: "How to remove late payment of student loan from report (credit report dispute failed)" Paying them off will NOT effect the negative line items. Those will remain there for at least 1 more year. Whether to pay them off or not is another subject and we don't have enough information to make that decision. What are the interest rates? What are your financial motives to pay them off? Are you trying to get another loan? etc.
    – maplemale
    Commented Aug 26, 2016 at 17:52

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