Here's a history lesson for those who are interested. :) (Ok, the person that yawned can close the thread NOW, lol.)
marci, way back last year on 05.29.2001 @ 11:20, lol, posted what she called her "sample letter paid CO." Her original letter began "I am writing a letter about my experience with Citibank NA that is a mixture of a grateful 'thank-you' and a pressing request" and then asked them to "give me a second chance at a positive credit rating." I think the letter may well have been the first time I ever saw anybody here take the nice approach so effectively. :) Here's the link to that post (well worth reading -- I hope marci will forgive my effusive compliments, but this is one of the all-time great posts):
At the point she wrote that letter (May 2001), the conventional wisdom here was that you probably shouldn't bother worrying about a paid account because -- the logic went -- IF IT'S PAID, YOU'VE LOST YOUR LEVERAGE. Of course, what marci suspected at the time (i.e., if it's paid, you STILL haven't lost your leverage) was foreign to most of us who lurked the credit boards. Keep in mind that this letter predated my nutcase letter (which I devised based upon stuff learned as a grasshopper student of Bill Bauer's and an avid reader of John Gliha's approaches at DueProcess.org) by many months. Then, later, Bill Bauer came up with his own approach to paid collections (previously he had dealt only with unpaid accounts). And recently, DanceRat came up with a TERRIFIC approach toward paid accounts with bad tradelines that emphasizes legal soundness, described elsewhere on this board. But it goes without saying that marci's letter was really the progenitor of the "goodwill adjustment" letter and the nutcase letter.
It wasn't until many months later that I stole (borrowed, lifted, LOL) key aspects (ok, the "key"-est aspects) of marci's "sample letter paid CO" and modified it for the express purpose of dealing with fully-paid accounts which had always been in good standing but had suffered small dings. It was a Sears rep who told me at the time, "Oh, sure, we call those 'goodwill adjustments' or 'courtesy adjustments' and we consider those requests from time to time." The very idea that I might be able to clear minor 30 and 60 day late pay history without having to dispute the notations with the CRAs was a revelation to me. (Hell, they never said anything about it in Michael Kielsky's "Electronic Credit Repair Kit" -- lol.) So, true to marci's approach, the letter began, "I am writing a letter about my experience with Sears that is a mixture of a grateful 'thank-you' and a pressing request" and included the "wake-up call," but then I went on to beg for "redemption at Sears" and even included the word "beg" LOL among other base grovels. I wondered if marci would object to even being associated with such unapologetic grovelling, but luckily she approved (I think, lol). In January 2002, I posted the resultant "goodwill letter" here:
In May, marci posted something she called her "Get Rid of Clutter Letter" which used entirely new language (no "pressing request" lol) but was an effective twist on the theme -- aimed specifically at deleting relatively new but deleted tradelines (the result of Citibank BDDs, for example). This letter hasn't received the play it deserves -- it should be referenced in the FAQ, I think. For anyone who missed it, here's the link:
Next, schweb posted his version of the goodwill letter using completely different language, something that is extremely important in order to keep the same letter from becoming "recognized" by creditors. Here's that link:
Finally, last week, helpwanted posted a well-revised goodwill letter (you can see marci's "pressing request" linguistics weaving right through from her original "sample letter paid CO" to the present, lol) but specifically aimed at student loan providers:
I'm an advocate for both "honey" and "vinegar" -- whichever works. On the other hand, if you browse messages on this board which predate marci's "sample letter paid CO" you'll be hard-pressed to find much "honey." (Grandma always said you can attract flies with honey much better, ahem.) Anyway, now that tone of voice has evolved into several excellent, targeted credit repair tools in our collective arsenal here. Who knows what mysterious personality shard led marci to try being nice to the creditor creeps (perhaps she'll consent to a longitudinal personality study, lol), but it worked and has continued to work for so many of us in several different ways.
(So, this posting is "a mixure of a grateful 'thank you' and..." er... sometimes it's important to know when to stop. I clearly haven't learned that lesson, ahem. I'll stop now, lol.)
P.S. Surely this interested someone out there, cough, cough. If not, maybe the links will introduce a newbie to something new anyway.