How Does a Late Payment Affect Your Credit?
Late payments can have a significant impact on your credit rating, but they don’t necessarily have to. You can take steps to minimize the damage missing a payment. Here’s what you need to know about late payments and how they affect your credit.
What is a Late Payment?
A late payment occurs when you fail to make payments by the due date, usually reflected as 30 days after the billing cycle ends. If you pay your bill before the 30 days, your bill won’t hurt your credit, but you may have to pay a late fee. Your payment history accounts for 35% of your credit score, and a missed payment will hurt your credit score.
How Does a Late Payment Affect Your Credit?
A late payment can have a negative impact on your credit score and your finances. Here are some examples of how late payments can affect you:
If you are late paying your bills, the company may charge you a fee. If you have a credit card, the company might charge interest on the delayed payment.
Lower credit score
Your payment history accounts for 35% of your credit scores, and one missed payment can affect your score negatively. Late payments are one of the biggest factors affecting your credit score. They are taken very seriously by lenders, landlords, and other businesses that use credit reports as part of their decision-making process.
If you have a higher credit score, your score will be greatly impacted than someone with a lower credit score. Your score could be lowered by 100 points.
If you pay late often, companies will raise interest rates on your loan or credit card if they feel it will prevent further delinquencies. Late payment could lead to increased costs for the loan or credit card, making it more difficult for you to pay off debt quickly.
Lower credit limit
Some lenders may lower the available credit on their cards if you make too many late payments, even if the bill is paid in full each month. This means that they may lower your limit from $5,000 available for purchases, for example, to $3,000 available at any given time.
Preventing late payments
Sometimes a late payment can be inevitable, you may have changed your address, had some emergencies that needed you to redirect your money, or you plainly forgot. The most important thing is to avoid missing payments altogether and so, here are some tips for preventing late payments:
- Pay bills on time every month and set reminders for yourself so there’s no way you’ll forget about them.
- If you have trouble remembering when bills are due, consider setting up automatic payments through your bank or credit card company.
- Pay bills on your payday
- Save money aside for some rainy-day
What To Do In case of a Late Payment
When your payment is 30 days late, you will be charged a late payment fee and sometimes a higher APR. However, your credit won’t be affected negatively if paid before the 30 days are over. If this is your first time, call your creditor and ask if they can waive the fee.
If you are more than 30 days late, make the payment before the 60 days are over because the earlier you make a payment, the less the damage to your credit. Write a goodwill letter to your creditor asking them to remove a negative remark in exchange for full payment.
If you are late for more than 90 days, the late payment account will appear on your credit report, and it will stay there for seven years from the day it was reported, but the effects become less impactful with time.
Can Credit Repair Companies Help?
If your late payment was due to a missing bill or some other error on the creditor’s part, then a credit repair company like The Ascent network can help. They have access to many methods for correcting errors on your credit report and improving your credit score, including sending in an amendment to correct the mistake. However, if you made a late payment because you were unable to pay off the balance in full, then a credit repair company cannot help you.
The Bottom Line
Late payments can sometimes be inevitable. You may have a medical emergency, lose your job, or even forget due to busy work schedules. However, you should remember to make payment within the first 30 days. Your account is not sold off to collections agencies and eventually gets reported to the three major credit bureaus.
A more positive outlook toward a more financially secure future starts today. Give the Ascent Network a call today at 1-877-871-2400. Ascent Network helps consumers all over the United States and is available locally in Huntington Beach, CA, Coachella Valley, Palm Springs, Cathedral City, Rancho Mirage, Palm Desert, Desert Hot Springs, Indian Wells, La Quinta, Indio, and Thousand Palms.