Pay Late or Miss a Payment?

Pay Late or Miss a Payment?

The differences between a late credit card payment and a missed payment.

Late credit card payments and missed credit card payments sound similar, but they are different in many ways. In the end, neither is a good option. However, one has more dire consequences than the other. Let’s discuss them.

Late Payments

A late credit card payment is a payment made after the due date but before the end of a billing cycle.

Here’s an example. Let’s say your credit card is due on the 20th of every month. One month, you forget to pay by the 20th, but remember before the end of the cycle (usually 30 days). That payment would be classified as a late payment. There can be some wiggle room with late payments. Some lenders give a grace period of a couple of days. However, even with a grace period, you can expect to pay a late fee. But a late payment typically won’t hurt your credit score.

Missed Payments

A missed credit card payment happens when you don’t make any payment during the billing cycle. If you miss a payment, you’ll pay a late fee and your credit score will likely take a hit. Even worse, a single missed payment can stay on your credit report for up to seven years. 

Help Yourself

As you can see, missed payments are worse than late payments. The bottom line? Pay what you can, as soon as you can. The longer a missed payment goes, the more it will hurt your credit score. 

Do One Thing: If you think you might miss a payment, contact your lender and see if there is something you can work out. Some companies may be willing to work something out. It never hurts to ask.

Chris O'Shea

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