How Do Late Payments Affect My Credit Score?
Since payment history is an important factor of your credit score, making late payments can have a negative effect on your score. Let’s take a closer look at how late payments can impact your credit score, what to do if you make a late payment, and how to avoid them as much as possible.
Can late payments affect my credit score?
Late payments can hurt your credit score, and their impact depends on a variety of factors. These include how late the payments are, how long ago you made them, and how high your credit score is. A payment that’s 30 days late will have less of an effect on your credit score than one that’s 90 days late. If you have a higher credit score and a positive payment history, a late payment can have a bigger negative impact than if you have a poor or fair credit score. And the more recently you made the late payment, the more it can hurt your credit score.
How long can late payments affect my credit score?
Late payments can stay on your credit report for seven years. Luckily, the impact these payments have on your credit score can decrease as time goes on. Late payments will fall off your credit report seven years after the date they occurred on.
How much can a late payment affect my credit score?
Here’s a closer look at how much late payments can affect your credit score based on how late they are:
Less than 30 days late
If you’re wondering if a one-day late payment will affect your credit score, you’ll be pleased to learn that your credit won’t take a hit. As long as you make your payment within 30 days after it was due, you may not see a negative impact on your score. Your lender may charge a late payment fee, but you may be able to avoid this if you have a track record of on-time payments.
30 days late
If your payment is 30 days late, the lender will likely report it to the credit bureaus. This means you may notice your credit score go down. Luckily, one 30-day late payment shouldn’t cause much lasting damage. But being 30 days late consistently will have a more significant impact on your credit.
60 days late
A 60-day late payment will take a greater toll on your credit score than a 30-day late payment but won’t drag down your score as much as multiple payments that are 60 days late.
90 days late
If you make a payment 90 days late, your credit score may face serious damage. Unfortunately, a payment this late can have a significant effect on your credit score for up to seven years.
What to do if you make a late payment
If you make a late payment, it’s a good idea to follow these steps.
1. Ask the lender to forgive the late payment fee
Chances are you’ll have to pay a late payment fee. If you’re usually a good borrower and rarely make late payments, you can ask the lender to forgive this fee.
2. Pay back the amount due
Pay back the amount you owe in full. Be sure to do this as soon as you can because the longer you wait, the more your credit score may suffer.
3. Write a goodwill letter
A goodwill letter explains why you made a late payment and asks the creditor to remove it off your credit reports. While there’s no guarantee a goodwill letter will work, it’s definitely worth trying.
4. Make on-time payments going forward
Do your best to make all your payments on time in the future. It can be easier to keep your credit score in good shape with timely payments than to try to improve it after you’ve made several late payments.
How to avoid making late payments
Here are some ways you can avoid making late payments:
- Set up calendar reminders in your phone so you’ll be able to keep track of when your payments are due.
- If you can, consider enrolling in automatic payments so that you can pay your bills without thinking about it.
- Designate one day each week to review your bills and pay any that are due.
You can apply for an Advance America loan even without a good credit score
Even if you have a poor or fair credit score, you can get approved for an Advance America loan. We offer a variety of options including payday loans, installment loans, title loans, and lines of credit. You can fill out an application online from the comfort of your home and receive the funds quickly, sometimes the same day you apply or within 24 hours. Visit Advance America today to learn more about the loans we offer.