July 17  Category: Playbook

Making your credit card payments on time is extremely important to your credit score. Late payment fees and higher interest rates are undesired results of late credit card payments.

What does a late payment really do to your score? Credit score calculation doesn’t treat all late payments the same. While thirty- and sixty-day late payments affect your credit score more in the months they occur, their effects diminish over time as long as they’re isolated incidents. A ninety-day late payment, on the other hand, is more harmful to your credit score, especially if it occurred within the past 24 months.

Whether it is a 30, 60, or 90 day late payment the results are detrimental to your credit score, so you don’t want to drop the ball and miss a payment . How your creditors respond to late payments can continue to affect you for months, and even years, to come. The ball is in your court so step up and make the play, or in this case the payment!

Five Things Happen When You Drop the Ball and  Pay Late

  1. Your creditor will charge a late fee. Your next billing statement will include a fee for the late/missed payments.  Late fees typically range from $15 to $35. You’ll receive a late fee each month your payment is late.
  2. Your interest rate will increase. Creditors don’t just penalize you with a fee, they’ll often increase your interest rate to the default rate. The higher interest rate increases your finance charges making it more expensive to carry a balance.
  3. Other credit card interest rates might increase. If any of your other creditors include a universal default clause in your card agreement, you see those interest rates rise, too.
  4. The credit bureaus are notified when your payment is more than 30-days late. An entry is added to your credit report and will stay for seven years.
  5. Your credit score will drop. Remember, your coaching staff has told you before that  payment history makes up 35% of your credit score.  Late payments can have a significant effect on your score affecting your ability to get new credit in the future, causing you to sit the bench!

Defensive Tip: Set up auto-pay on your all your credit cards to make the minimum payments. This will insure that at least your minimum payment is made on time, regardless of hectic things can get! This is what Credit Coach calls strategic planning.