Credit Cards

What Happens When You Miss a Credit Card Payment?

Read this article and find out what happens when you miss a card payment, and learn how to better handle credit to your advantage.


Missing a credit card payment can have many consequences for your finances

Missed a payment? Let’s see what you can do about it to minimize the damage. Source: Freepik.

Forgetting to pay any bill is always bad for your finances. But what happens when you miss a credit card payment?

If you have to handle a number of different bills with different due dates and you have not set up autopay for at least a handful of them, it can be really easy to miss credit card payments. 

Missing a credit card payment is never a good thing. It comes with expensive consequences, both in financial terms and to your credit score. 

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The terms of your credit card influence the impact of missing a payment. However, as a rule of thumb, the later you are on a payment, the more expensive it is going to become.

Making late payments on a credit card can result in late payment fees, penalty interest rate, not to mention your credit score will most likely take a hit.

In this article, we are going to review what happens when you do not pay your credit card on time, the fees you are likely to face, and the effect late payments have on your credit score.

Read on and also find out how to prevent late payments.

Consequences of missing a credit card payment or paying up late

There are numerous consequences for missing a credit card payment, and they vary depending on how many days you are late on a payment. 

A credit card payment that is past due by one day is not such a huge problem, especially regarding your credit score.

This is true because credit card issuers generally do not report payments that are less than 30 days past due.

However, if you exceed 30 days, the issuer will report it to the credit bureaus, possibly damaging your credit. Plus, you will most likely pay higher penalties.

Paying late can result in you being required to pay a late payment fee which is often up to $41. You may aso face a Penalty APR depending on the card you are late on.

A penalty APR causes a spike in your interest rate, making you pay significantly more interest on the amount you owe.

Note, however, that often when you make two consecutive payments on time, the penalty APR may be reverted back to the regular APR.

If you have a card that has a 0% APR period and you are late on your payment, the issuer may cancel the intro 0% APR. You will then be paying the card’s regular APR, which may be low, but it is never zero.

The impact missing payments have on your credit score

Missing a payment is the worst thing you can do to your credit score. Source: Freepik.

Missing payments can seriously impact your credit score, which can take you some time to recover from. What happens when you miss a credit card payment will impact your finances more than you think.

The longer you take to pay your balance once it is past due, the more your credit score will suffer.

You might think that if you have a good or excellent credit score the issuer will be willing to forgive or even not hit your credit score hard, but think again.

If you have a credit score of 607, for example, and you are 30 days late on a credit card payment, your score can drop by 17 to 37 points.

If you have a credit score of 793, on the other hand, it could drop even more dramatically. You can lose 63 to 83 points if you are late on a payment for 30 days.

It is counter intuitive, but the higher your credit score, the greater negative effect a missed credit card payment will have on your account. 

This happens because a person with a lower credit score already has their past activity reflected in their score. So the person has probably been late before, and that is why their score is what it is.

A person with a high credit score, however, does not have that apparent in their credit score.

So the huge impact serves to make it evident to future lenders that this person now represents a risk.

How to prevent missing a payment

Make sure you never miss a payment again. Source: Freepik.

There are a number of measures you can take in order to avoid ever missing a payment. Here are a few of them.

Autopay is your friend

Most card issuers provide cardholders with an autopay option. Setting up autopay is extremely easy and takes less than a minute to do.

You can set up autopay for the minimum payment due, the total statement balance or another amount you wish.

However, it is always advisable that you pay your total statement balance to avoid interest charges. Still, if this is not possible, strive to pay the minimum and never skip a payment.

Payment reminders

Many card issuers allow you to opt into reminders. They will fire these reminders in many different situations.

For example, when your statement is available, when your payment is due in a certain number of days, and others. Different issuers have different options for reminders.

Accommodate your payment due date

Sometimes the problem is that your due date falls on a day that is especially hard for you to remember. If that is the case, some card issuers allow you to change your payment due date.

You can move your due date to the same date as other bills you are already familiar with paying regularly. That way when you pay one, you pay all because you will not forget them.

What if you miss a payment?

Sometimes we get distracted and miss a payment. It is not the end of the world, as long as you do something about it as soon as possible.

At the very least, pay the minimum as soon as you can. If you can do that before the payment is past due by 30 days, you can avoid taking a hit to your credit score.

Another thing you can do is call your card issuer and try to negotiate your payment. This is easier if it is the first time you are late on a payment.

With that being said, do your best not to miss another payment. Missing payments multiple times can have serious implications for your finances and your credit score, so stay sharp!

Do you think you should cancel your credit card? Learn how to do it the right way.

Keeping a good credit score is a mission. Every financial action will impact it somehow, and you have to think about it before making something that will damage your score.

Canceling a credit card will drop your score a few points. But if you really need to cancel a card, we will show you how to minimize any possible harm to your credit score.

Just check the article recommended on the following.

cancel your credit card

How to cancel your credit card without harming you

If you're looking to cancel your credit card, make sure you do it the right way – or you could damage your credit score. Here's how to cancel a credit card.

About the author  /  Danilo Pereira

Danilo is a copywriter with a passion for learning. Deeply interested in philosophy, politics and arts.

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