Why Late Credit Card Payments Can Hurt Your Credit Score


One of the most significant factors that affect your credit score is your bill payments. On-time payments are extremely important, and missing just one credit can drop your score a few points.

If you have a spotless credit score, a late payment can lower your score as much as 100 points. However, if your credit score is already low, it won’t hurt it as much, but can still do significant damage that impacts your ability to get a merchant account for your business.

Here’s what you need to know about late payments and your credit score.

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When a Payment is Marked Late

When your credit card provider hits you with a late payment fee for a missed bill payment, that doesn’t mean that your credit report also got hit. Credit card companies will often impose a fee when the due date passes without you posting a payment to the account.

However, according to federal law, a late payment cannot be reported to the credit bureaus until it is at least 30 days past due. Therefore, one overlooked bill will not hurt your credit, as long as you make payments before the 30-day deadline.

Your credit report is important because it’s the data that is used by the credit bureaus for calculating your credit scores. Payment history itself is the most significant factor that makes up your credit score, so the 30-day mark should be considered.

For How Long Does a Late Payment Affect Your Credit?

A single late payment, after the 30-day mark, can impact your credit score for up to seven years after the account was reported late. However, the impact of a late payment will fade over time as you continue to make on-time payments.

What About Partial Payments?

When you can’t afford the minimum credit card payment, you may want to send some amount of money in to show that you’re willing to pay the debt, but cannot at that moment. While many people believe this will show the bank good faith, it won’t actually keep banks and credit card companies from reporting your late payments to the credit bureaus.

How Can I Mitigate Damages from Late Payments?

In order to help your credit score, it’s recommended that you bring your account up to date as soon as possible. This means paying all of your debts on time and making sure you keep up with your bills.

The sooner you catch up on your payments, the less damage there will be to your credit score. This will also allow you to recover sooner.

Obtaining a Merchant Account

When your credit score is affected by late payments, you will have a difficult time getting accepted for an easy merchant account bad credit. Banks will consider you as a high-risk business, which means getting approval to accept credit card payments can become difficult. However, companies like High Risk Pay are here for you and can help you open up a merchant account and begin making your business a success.

See also: How to accept credit card payments without a merchant account