How Late Payments Affect Your Credit Score
How Late Payments Affect Your Credit Score

***IMPORTANT NOTE: Please remember that Credit Karma is not a credit bureau. All of the credit report information you see comes straight from your TransUnion credit report. We cannot help you dispute your credit report errors. In order to do so, you should first check your full credit report at AnnualCreditReport.com for more information.***


Making a late payment on your credit card, mortgage, or loan can lead to several negative consequences that can ultimately sink your credit score and damage your credit health. Whether you are just three days late or 30 days late, not paying your bills on time will affect you for months and potentially years to come.


Effects of Late Payments

Banks and issuers consider payment history an indicator of risk when deciding whether or not to approve you for credit. A long-standing history of on-time payments suggests that you are a responsible and reliable borrower; a poor history of on-time payments suggests that you may not repay debts and could result in a costly loss to the bank or issuer.

Being unreliable with payments is a red flag to financial institutions, and several things can occur when you pay late.

  • You will be charged a late fee. If you pay your credit card bill a single day after the due date, you will be charged a late fee as high as $35, which will be reflected on your next billing statement. If you continue to miss the due date, you will incur additional late fees.
  • Your interest rates may rise. Paying your creditors late may result in an increase in your interest rate, often resetting your interest rate to the Penalty APR. For credit cards, the penalty APR can be as high as 29.99%, which means you'll pay significantly more in interest on your outstanding balance. If you have a promotional 0% APR on a balance transfer credit card, paying late may forfeit your 0% APR and reset it to the default interest rate.
  • It will be reflected on your credit report. If your payment is more than 30 days late, the three major credit bureaus will be notified and the late payment will show up on your credit report. A late payment on your credit report will stay on your credit report for seven years.
  • It will decrease your credit score. Payment history comprises nearly 35% of your credit score, making it one of the single most important factors in calculating your score. Just one late payment can drastically lower your credit score, especially if you have a good or excellent credit score. For example, a 30-day late payment can hurt your credit score by up to 80 points if your score is in the 680 range, and up to 110 points if your score is in the 780 range. Depending on how late your payment is, how frequently you pay late, and what your credit score is, late payments can severely affect your credit. To simulate how a late payment may impact your own credit score, try Credit Karma's's free, interactive Credit Simulator.

Paying late is a dangerous credit habit that could lead to more damaging credit actions, such as neglecting an account until it becomes delinquent or sent to collections. An account in collections will remain on your credit report for seven years and cause even more damage than a late payment.


What to Do if You've Made a Late Payment

If your bills are past due, the sooner you can pay the bill, the better. The damaging effect of a late payment on your credit score increases the longer the delinquency.

If you've made a late payment recently, you can attempt to do the following:

  • Remove a late payment fee. If you were charged a late fee for a late credit card payment, but are generally a good customer, get in touch with your issuer's customer service line or online chat service and request to have the late fee forgiven and removed. If you are in good standing with your issuer, they are more likely to compromise.
  • Reset your penalty interest rate. If a late payment caused your interest rate to increase, your issuer is required to reset your interest rate back to the pre-penalty rate if you make six months of on-time payments, so get back on track and start making on-time payments.
  • Pay all accounts on time. If a late payment caused your credit score to drop, the best thing you can do is to continue on-time payments on all of your accounts. After a few months of consistent on-time payments, your credit score should slowly improve. An easy way to prevent late payments is to set up automatic payments and email or text reminders on your financial accounts so you never miss another payment again.

Finally, keep track of your overall credit health with Credit Karma's Free Credit Report Card, which gives you a letter grade on your on-time payment history and other important credit score factors. Paying on time every month is the single best way to build good credit history and improve your credit score over time.


All Comments
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Helpful to 211 out of 240 people

want to know if credit score gets better.

Comment by
faithmays

1 Contribution
211 People Helped
Helpful to 7 out of 15 people

I have call them and it is area on the part of them.  from them need get hold of company please they were never paid late. at bill has been paid off linda schulz case.   please call they complany asp please  stop me from get house am very set now 

Reply by
lksc1436

1 Contribution
7 People Helped
Helpful to 193 out of 233 people

iis it possible to pay the balances of the items your report shows in collection and improve my credit score?

Comment by
esmith2012

1 Contribution
193 People Helped
Helpful to 174 out of 186 people

Yes, and no. The collection will still show on your credit report, but it will show as a paid collection. I'm not sure if it changes your score, but lenders definitely look more favorably on paid collections, because it shows that you took the steps necessary to resolve the account and that you actually care about your credit.

Reply by
Diddi55

1 Contribution
174 People Helped
Helpful to 13 out of 16 people

yes

Reply by
rm2fiddy

1 Contribution
13 People Helped
Helpful to 1 out of 1 people

Yes it can help your credit score but will still remain on your credit report for up to seven years, some ten depending what it is on your credit report. I had a lot on mine and paid all but one or two off. I was apply to get a car loan. Also, it helps if you once you pay some of it off to get a credit card with a small limit on it. But make sure you only use at least 10 to 15% of what is on it. Pay it on time and it will help your credit score increase.

Reply by
radu0203

2 Contributions
7 People Helped
Helpful to 1 out of 3 people

Not really, once it is there it will stay there publicly for as long as the law allows and what is not visible who knows for sure. Acollection agency placed a charge off on my record on the 3rd of this month and I can't even  find out who it was from or how much!!

Reply by
PBrewster

1 Contribution
1 Person Helped
Helpful to 31 out of 36 people

I had a truck repossessed back in august of 2007. The original creditor dinged my credit with the repo and late payments. But now the collection agency has now turn in a default loan against me for the same amount and now my credit shows a repo of 7700 from the original and a 8600 debt to the collection agency on the same same debt. Is it me or is this just wrong that they can show the same debt twice by 2 different companies? Any one know if this can be disputed and at least have the collection agency removed? I have never heard from them or had any dealings with them but after calling them they told me that they had the right to put it on my report because they bought out the outstanding debt from my original lender. Deoes this seem right to anyone. HELP 

Comment by
dwmay

1 Contribution
31 People Helped
Helpful to 44 out of 47 people

No that is not right. You need to dispute one of them (probably the bank) because they sold the account to the collection agency. Just contact the credit reporting agencies to dispute.

Reply by
sabolton01

1 Contribution
44 People Helped
Helpful to 28 out of 39 people

I can help you with this if you still need help?

Reply by
Exwaster

2 Contributions
30 People Helped
Helpful to 1 out of 1 people

happened to me too &they r no help at all. this 7 year thing is crap. it has been 24 years & still there from myex-husband

Reply by
tinktink3447

1 Contribution
1 Person Helped
Helpful to 2 out of 4 people

I can help you with this. 

Reply by
Exwaster

2 Contributions
30 People Helped
Helpful to 96 out of 121 people

I've been studying credit bylaws since 2007 and this is the best credit educational tool that I have come across...... 

Comment by
Drick316

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96 People Helped
Helpful to 17 out of 27 people

they have me with a past due bill from centerpoint I never had an account with them so what do you do to take it off?

Reply by
mcgeemullins

1 Contribution
17 People Helped
Helpful to 36 out of 44 people

The only late payment I have ever made was the one Bank Of America told me not to make while my mortgage was being modified, but it shows up as late, how can I get that removed

Comment by
yorkiegirl1

1 Contribution
36 People Helped
Helpful to 4 out of 4 people

Were you able to get this removed? I have the same problem and B of A refuses to acknowledge that they instructed me to stop making payments and then damaged my credit by reporting late payments. I wonder how many people had the same thing happen to them. Class Action anyone?

Reply by
avg1dh

1 Contribution
4 People Helped
Helpful to 21 out of 25 people

Need to include information on placing a consumer comment on item of late payment. I recently had a late pay on a loan I cosigned. Upon confirmation of information I paid this loan off completely.

With this article I did not get any information to allow me to place my comment with the credit reporting agencies. My credit went from 810 to 638! Doing better now but would like to have creditors see the conditions of this late pay. 

Comment by
moanamcara1

1 Contribution
21 People Helped
Helpful to 15 out of 18 people

Lesson learned. Never Co-sign a loan unless you have total trust in the other signor. You got dinged on your report because, as a co-signer, it was your resposibility to ensure the debt was paid on time. Obviously this didn't happen. Therefore, they will not remove it until the debt is paid in full and the 10 years from date of payoff has expired. As the ding gets older it will have less and less impact on your score.

Reply by
Acats45

6 Contributions
38 People Helped
Helpful to 9 out of 11 people

I have a very similar situation. The car was sold and the loan paid in full. My question is why they use 10 years on a car loan that was only a four year loan? The full amount was paid, earlier than the term of the contract. As a co-signer I feel like it's just a way to " squeeze" you into a higher interest rate.

Reply by
consumerkarma

1 Contribution
9 People Helped

Same thing just happened me my score dropped 75 points form co-signing for some one. My question is is it going to take a long time to get my score back up?

Reply by
kschumaker1971

1 Contribution
0 People Helped
Helpful to 9 out of 10 people

I applied for a vehicle loan and had 10-15 credit inquiries even after I purchased my vehicle. How can I remove these inquiries?

Comment by
kmpalmer75

1 Contribution
9 People Helped
Helpful to 6 out of 7 people

They will automatically drop after 1 year and some take 2. If you can get approved with a bank it's better to get a car loan with them because it will only give you one credit inquiry a car dealer will do many more. 

Reply by
radu0203

2 Contributions
7 People Helped
Helpful to 19 out of 24 people

I find the credit bureaus to be nothing more than a bunch of crooks, just like the politicians. They write good things about certain people who have connections.. There are many big organizations and so-called upper echelons who file bankruptcy and do not pay their bills, but they cannot be touched and they do not get bad write-ups. I prefer to have a character reputation because then the truth would come out about those who are still getting away with their bull. I have know some people who really suffered because of bad reports that were not true, but they did not have what they really needed at the time, and that was a good lawyer that would sue them for all they have.

Comment by
doctor8145

2 Contributions
47 People Helped
Helpful to 12 out of 17 people

If I no longer have the vecheile in question how is it going to show delilient on my credit report

Comment by
anglet12

1 Contribution
12 People Helped
Helpful to 28 out of 41 people

Let's see I declared Bankruptcy so I would start over with a clean slate. Not in America. 2 Companies one Bank of America sold my debt to collection agencies 2 months after my attorney filed my bankruptcy. Now I have a collection agency on my credit history that has left a bad mark against my credit and there is absolutely nothing I can do about it. The other company did the same thing. All this started with Bank of America when one of their employees stole money from my checking account. There is no law unless you own the law. Credit is fake and the system of currency is fake. You must obey venal arbitrary rules and the banks can do as they please including theft and destroying a persons credit and life.

Comment by
oddox

1 Contribution
28 People Helped
Helpful to 15 out of 18 people

Contact your attorney. If true, this is illegal!! Filing a bankrutcy in federal court stops all payments (Chapter 7), if Chapter 13, the court sets a payments schedule for you to repay that you can afford. If you default on these payments, the creditor's can do exactly what you say 2 of them did!

Reply by
Acats45

6 Contributions
38 People Helped
Helpful to 11 out of 17 people

Bank of America cost me $ 4,000 in legal fees and still screwed up my credit and the fault was on their end! Caught between to banking errors and an embezzeling employee...and I'm the one that got screwed. I can't believe the government bails these *** ***** out.  Credit Unions or nothing. No banks. No how. No way.

Reply by
traveltheglobe

2 Contributions
11 People Helped
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