- Keep a courteous tone, no matter the circumstances. If you must deny a person credit, discontinue credit, or begin the collection process, maintain a professional tone as you explain your reasons for taking this action. Remember, you'll probably want to keep this customer's business, even if you must ask for cash payments.
- If you must deny a request for credit, leave the door open to future applications from the same party.
- If payment is more than a month late, encourage the customer to contact you to discuss the lapse in payment.
- If a payment is more than 60 days overdue and the customer has shown no move toward making the payment or discussing why he or she has not made payment, let him or her know exactly what the penalty will be unless he or she responds immediately with the payment. Don't make an empty threat, however. You must be prepared to follow through.
- Be clear and include enough information to clearly convey your request or offer to your client or potential customer.
- Tailor your letter to your audience.
- Be brief; credit letters should be straightforward and businesslike.
- Be confident and persuasive. Be assertive but not overbearing.
- Assure your reader that any information he or she gives you will remain confidential.
Related Credit-Letter Articles
Credit letters allow you to:
- Approve/deny a loan or application for a credit card or increased line of credit.
- Invite a customer or potential client to apply for a loan or line of credit.
- Promise a delayed payment to a creditor.
- Acknowledge payment toward a credit balance or for an overdue balance.
- Explain your reasons for withdrawing the customer's credit option.
- Announce intentions to begin the collection process if a client does not make payment.
- Request that a customer make his or her loan or credit card payment.
- Offer alternative payment plans if a client is unable to meet the current payment obligation.
- Write a letter to a credit bureau stating that they have included inaccurate information on your credit report and ask that this information be corrected or removed, and request that corrected statements be sent to everyone who has been misinformed.
- Work to maintain goodwill and trust.
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