I just wrote this letter to Citibank via PFB and am sharing it here for two reasons: for moral support and prayers that it will work (please!) and as a possible sample letter for those of us who are plagued by paid charge offs. Some background: I had a paid chargeoff with Citibank back in 1997. I applied for the Citi AAvantage card (many thanks to Roni, Sam and others for sharing their experiences) and was turned down. I got the card after explaining myself to a supervisor in the credit department (1-301-733-5501).
Yes, I admit to grovelling and admitting that I owed and paid the debt, but I choose to deal honestly in life (the charge off *is* my fault) and I hope that the grovelling will move someone's heart to delete this. By my tone in this letter, I by no means hold Citibank without fault in giving untrained college kids credit cards and using larcenous methods later on to get their money. Like Dani, I have a passion for getting that stopped as well.
Anyway, here's the letter. If you benefit from it, then enjoy; if not, then just overlook it.
"Dear Mr. Weill,
I am writing a letter about my experience with Citibank NA that is a mixture of a grateful "thank-you" and a pressing request concerning a Citibank Visa tradeline on my credit report which I would like to have removed.
I received my first Citibank card (Visa) in 1990 as a barely 18 year old first year student at ______ College. The account number for that card is #xxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxx. In college, I used my Citibank Visa quite frequently as I discovered that it gave me the "freedom" to buy many of the things I wanted in life but could not afford with cash. Unfortunately, I didn't realize that the freedom to buy things on credit came along with the responsibility to faithfully pay my credit obligations with Citibank on time.
In 1997, the account was charged-off and I immediately began paying the remaining balance on the account until the account was paid in full (not settled) in 1998. To be honest, 1997 was a "wake-up" call for me. Since then I have actively begun rebuilding my credit and have learned the essential personal financial management principles I desperately needed to know in college. My responsible credit management is reflected in my credit reports which - excepting the Citibank Visa entry - are clear of major negative credit information.
In March 2001, Citibank also recognized and rewarded my hard work in responsible credit management. The Credit Department approved me for a Mastercard after I told a manager of my significant financial progress and that I wanted a second chance at a business relationship with Citibank. The Platinum Select Mastercard I now have is a milestone for me in that it is my first card with Platinum benefits and that it offers a 6.9% balance transfer option which I am happily using to quickly lower my debt obligations. So for this, I want to say thank you.
I've seen the recent Citibank advertisements in magazines encouraging customers to use credit responsibly with a Citibank card designed to help them do so. I wish that I had had that kind of guidance when I was a freshman in college. Because Citibank is dedicated to building a financially responsible customer base with its new card products, I would hope that Citibank would desire to help me have a credit report that reflects my own hard work in credit responsibilty and the fact that Citibank has given me a second chance at a banking relationship with them, one which I am determined to keep spotless.
The paid charge off listing does not reflect my current status with Citibank and I would like the "credit world" to focus on my new successful relationship with Citibank. I am asking today that Citibank give me a second chance at a positive credit rating and remove the paid charge off reported by Citibank to all three Credit Reporting Agencies for Visa account number #xxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxx.
Thank you for taking the time to read this. I would appreciate a response at your earliest convenience.