How to Recover Your Credit from a Late Payment

September 15, 2017

One missed payment could severely damage your credit score, regardless of your payment history.

The impact of a late payment on your credit score will depend on multiple factors. Creditors evaluate late payments based on three things: how much the missed payment was, how recent it happened and how frequently you miss payments. However, one missed payment could severely damage your credit score, regardless of your payment history, and the last thing that you want is to seem like a risky borrower to lenders.

If you miss a bill payment, you can still save your credit score from dropping. Here’s how:

If your missed payment was an honest mistake, pay your bill ASAP

The longer a bill goes unpaid, the more your credit score will be damaged. Depending on the creditor, you could be charged for a late fee mere seconds after the payment was due, and late fees can range anywhere from 25 to 50 dollars.

If you miss a payment on a new credit card with an introductory rate, creditors might end the promotional period and make you pay a higher interest rate. In order to keep your low interest rate on a new card, make sure that your payments are always made on time. If you’ve already forgotten to pay your bill on a new credit card, make your payment as soon as possible and call the creditor to ask if they can forgive your mishap. If they don’t budge and are strict about ending your promotional rate, ensure that you’re making all future payments on time to avoid damaging your credit score!

If you can’t afford to pay your bill, call your creditor and negotiate

Life’s financial hardships and emergencies can be a contributing factor to whether or not you pay back creditors on time. If you seem to be missing your bill payments regularly, consider how much money you’re paying on accumulated interest rates and added fees. If you can’t afford to pay your bills, call your creditor and explain to them your situation – don’t just ignore your debt.

If it’s been more than 150 days since you paid your bill, creditors might charge off your debt and send it to a collection agency. A collection account on your credit report will have a negative impact on your overall financial history, which is something that you want to avoid at all costs. Your first step is to call your creditor and be honest with them about your financial situation. Your second step is to start laying out the foundation of a solid savings plan to alleviate personal stress and to prevent missing a payment again. Build a healthy relationship with your creditor and your bank account and the odds of being penalized for a late payment will be low.

The conclusion

Missing a bill payment isn’t uncommon. However, the penalties of having to pay additional charges or increased rates is a good enough reason to make all payments on time, every time. This being said, life can be chaotic sometimes, and although forgetting to pay your bill won’t look great on your credit report, there are steps that you can take to recover any financial accident that you make.

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