What to do if You Miss a Credit Card Payment
You’ve got bills, credit cards, utilities, trash, internet, cell phone and on and on to remember to pay. No matter how many reminders or sticky notes you use, it’s almost inevitable that you will miss payment deadlines. It can happen to anyone. It’s not the end of the world, but if you don’t catch your mistake – and fix it fast! – you may face big consequences.
The effects of overdue payments vary from credit card to credit card, it’s all in the fine print. Impacts will also change based on how late the payment is. Your top concerns with late payments are late payment fees, penalty interest rates and a ding to your credit score. The good thing to note is that if your payment is less than 30 days late, most issuers won’t report you to the credit bureaus.
Here’s what to do if you miss a payment deadline
Don’t let that payment fall behind any longer. After 30 days, you’ll be hit with a credit score penalty. More than 90 days and you’ll be hit again. It’s important to note that the higher your credit score, the more you can be penalized. For instance, in a 30-day missed payment ding, someone with a lower credit score could be deducted 20-40 points, while someone with a higher score could lose 60-80 points.
So pay as soon as possible, even if it’s just the minimum.
Make a call, ask for leniency
If you are proactive about your missed payment and call to explain your situation, many credit card companies will waive the late fee, especially if this is your first late payment. There are some cards that automatically waive your first late payment, but if you don’t have one of these cards, your best bet is to get on the phone and ask for leniency.
Don’t miss another payment
After your first missed payment, late fees will raise and you could be hit with a higher APR or lose your promotional rate. Additionally, credit card issuers will be less lenient if you continue to miss payments, not to mention the negative effects on your credit score.
Try the following out if you are having a hard time remembering all your bills…
- Set up autopay
- Set payment reminders on your calendar
- Change payment due dates so that payments are all due on one day or within the same week
Missed payments happen to all of us. Be proactive and jump on the problem before it becomes a larger issue. If you have any questions or are facing significant penalties, call us and we’ll let you know how we can help. Creditors make mistakes and you may not even know it.
Stay alert and stay informed! But mostly, stay on top of those bills…