Being late on a credit card payment may inevitably happen to all of us. There are many circumstances which can cause us to miss a payment. Maybe your bill or your payment was lost in the mail. Maybe you didn’t have enough to pay the bill. Or maybe you just forgot.
If this happens to you, don’t despair, there are 6 things you need to do if you miss a credit card payment.
Missing a credit card payment isn’t the end of the world. So the first thing to do is to relax and don’t panic. While there are several consequences to a missed or late payment, you can and will overcome their impact.
If you always make your payments on time and this missed payment is a very rare event, you may be able to avoid paying a late fee. Typically, when you are late, you are charged a fee of $15 (or even $35). But if you are a good customer, one phone call to customer service could get that late fee wiped out. Remember, it doesn’t hurt to ask.
Pay The Missed Payment
If you’re late on a payment, you will be hit with a late fee. But if you’re past due more than a month, you’ll be hit with an additional fee. Not only that, but when you are late for more than 30 days you will be reported to the credit bureaus. This late payment will stay on your credit report for the next seven years. If you’re late for 60 days then your interest rate will go up too.
Don’t Ignore It
Some people see a problem, and rather than dealing with it, choose to ignore it. Well folks, that missed payment isn’t going away. Do not compound your error by just forgetting about it – because the credit card company surely won’t forget. Be sure to make the payment as soon as you can – the earlier the better.
Fix Your Credit Score
The impact of a late credit card payment is rather minimal. First of all, if you pay within 30 days it won’t be reported to the credit bureaus at all. But if you are more than 1-2 months late, do not despair because you can overcome this. While your score will take an immediate hit, within a few months the impact will lessen, assuming you make your future payments in a timely manner.
Don’t Let This Happen Again
Missing a payment can happen to the best of us. But when you make a mistake, you need to figure out why it happened and make sure it doesn’t happen again. If you forgot to pay or your payment was lost in the mail, set up automatic payments so they’ll be debited from your bank account on time every time.