Does a One-Day-Late Payment Affect My Credit Score?

Michael Collins
Jul 16, 2020

Missing a monthly payment by one day likely won’t affect your credit score. Late payments on things like loans and credit cards are usually not reported until they have been late for 30 days. If you are able to pay it off as soon as possible, you should be fine. However, this does not mean you should be careless with your payments. Your credit score is not the only thing you should be worried about if you miss a monthly payment. Keep reading and we’ll go into more detail about all of this!

Why a One-Day-Late Payment Likely Won't Show on your Credit Report

This may be surprising, but lenders aren’t obligated to report to credit reporting agencies like Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. Regardless if your lender wants to report your late payment or not, they will not be able to report it until 30 days have passed.

 Why is this the case? The credit reporting agency as a whole made a policy that payments cannot be reported late until after 30 days. They may have come to the conclusion that such harsh deadlines aren’t fair for borrows. Whatever the case, lenders can’t report your late payment right away. Lenders must report your late payment within certain timeframes, such as 30-59 days or 60-89 days late. Even if they really wanted to, there isn’t even an option to report a payment until it's 30 days overdue. Pretty nice, right?

When do Late Payments Show up on Credit Reports?

Late payments won’t show up until your lender decides to notify the credit reporting agency of your recent late payment. This won’t happen until at least 30 days have passed since the payment was due. Again, it is up to your lender’s discretion. They may notify the credit reporting agencies milliseconds after it’s been 30 days or they might wait until it reaches the 60 or 90 day mark. 

This doesn’t mean you should gamble with your late payments. If you are able to, make your payments on time as often as you can. If you wait until the 60 or 90 day mark to make your payment, something will probably show up on your credit report and it won’t be pretty. Your credit score could go down as much as 100 points depending how egregious your late payment is.

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What to Expect if you are One-Day-Late on a Payment

While missing payments by one day probably won’t affect your credit score, it isn’t the only thing you should be worried about. It’s not very surprising that your lender wants their money back and they’ll do everything in their power to get their money from you. Don’t be surprised if you start getting calls from collection agencies. These calls and messages might be very frequent and extremely annoying. They may hound you until you pay. 

If you continue to fail to pay your lender back, debt collectors and lenders might threaten you with arrest. This can be very frightening for you. However, this is not possible and it is an empty threat. While you still need to pay, a threat of arrest is not supported by any law and they are just doing it to scare you! On the other hand, depending on your loan and how late you are on payments, you might receive a summons to appear in court to resolve your debt. This is not an empty threat and you will need to appear in court or else the judge will make a “default” decision and your lenders will automatically win the case. 

You can also expect some additional costs when it comes to missing your payment. Primarily, you can expect a late fee. Late fees can vary depending on what type of loan you get, but you can be sure they’ll be there. The late fees may get even larger if you continue to not pay. Likewise, you might get charged a higher interest rate for your following payments. While this might not seem like much, it could mean you end up spending much more than you initially planned on. 

How do I Know If There’s a Late Payment on my Credit Report?

If you aren’t sure if your payment was late or whether it will be on your credit report, there is an easy way to check this. All three major credit reporting agencies, Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion, are required to give one free credit report to each customer annually. For example, if you checked your credit report on Equifax earlier in the year, you can still get another report from Experian or TransUnion if you are having doubts. You can also check your credit score on these three websites as well. If you have used all three, you can always pay some money to see them again. 

It's recommended that you check your credit report and credit score every so often. If you think your credit isn’t great, you should check every once in a while to see if you need to improve your credit. If you have been making payments on time you should also check your credit report to make sure your lender has been reporting your on-time payments. If they haven’t, you can always reach out to them and ask that they do. 

How Long Will a Late Payment Stay on my Credit?

A single late payment can stay on your credit report for around 7 years if it is more than 30 days late. Ouch is right. There’s a silver lining that comes with this, though. If you miss your payments your lender reports that your credit account is failing to make payments and is not in good standing. If you make your payment and continue to make your future payments on time, your lender will not be allowed to report this anymore. They will have to report that you are now in good standing with your payments. Instead of the negative report showing up right on your credit report, it will be moved to a different section that will say something like “historical payments.”

What Can I Do If I’ve Missed a Payment?

If you’ve read this far and you are still worried about the missed payment you’ve missed, don’t panic. While missing payments is not ideal, it isn’t the end of the world. There’s still time to remedy your mistakes but it’s better if you act sooner than later. Let’s look at some of your options. 

Pay Your Bill Now

As you’ve read, if you can pay your late payments within 30 days you likely won’t get a knock on your credit. Because of this, it’s important that you pay as soon as you can. If the deadline just slipped your mind but you still have the money, there’s no reason not to pay. With every passing day you are only going to get pressed harder by your lender and the penalties might get even worse, so pay right away!

If you missed your payment because you didn’t have the cash, you should still make an effort to pay as soon as you can. A payday loan alternative from Possible could be your best bet. Regardless of what you do, you are going to save yourself much more trouble in the future if you pay it off immediately. 

If you have the ability to get the cash to make the payment, the negative consequences that will come if you don’t pay are not worth it. Do everything in your power to get the cash to pay it. This way, you can relieve yourself of the stress of your looming payment and you can get back on track to make your next payment on-time. 

Ask Your Creditor for a Break

There’s a chance you are in a difficult spot right now and you just won’t have the money to make your payment right away. You might not even have the money for the foreseeable future. If this is the case, you can work with your lender to come to an arrangement that is beneficial for both of you. Even if your payment might be later than the lender initially expected, they will most likely be happier with you paying later than not paying at all. 

One agreement you could negotiate with your lender for is an extended payment plan. With an extended payment plan, you and your lender would change the terms around on your loan to adjust your repayment schedule. This might mean that you pay less money per month but pay more months, or that you pay fewer months but your interest is increased. Whatever the case, try to ask your lender about an extended payment plan. Some states require lenders to provide extended payment plans to their customers so see if your state applies. 

Another arrangement you could come to with your lender is a “deferred payment plan” With this, you are essentially asking your lender if you can postpone your current payment to a later date. This means that you would not have to make your most current payment and would instead just pay one additional month at the end. The only caveat to this is that it might make your repaying slightly harder. Your lender might not extend your payment by one month and will instead make you pay twice the amount in the last month. They also might still charge interest on the payment you are deferring, so you may pay more interest than you were planning on. Make sure you ask your lender about a deferred payment plan as soon as possible. They will not be very happy if you wait until one day before it is due to ask them. Unlike extended payment plans, lenders aren’t necessarily obligated to give you a deferred payment plan and they can decline your request if they please. 

Sign up for Automatic Bill Paying

It can sometimes be frustrating to juggle all of your different payments at once. With utilities, rent, credit card, and many other monthly expenses all looming over you, there’s a chance you forget to make a payment. If you already budgeted the money out to make your payment, it can be frustrating if you miss it because of one small error and you then have to pay the price for it. 

Fortunately, bills and debt payments have become easier to pay overtime. Most of these payments can be done online and it can only take a few buttons to make your payments. However, there is an even easier and smarter way to pay your bills. If you are comfortable with it, you can have your lender automatically take money out of your bank account to make your payments. While not all lenders offer this, many do. This way, you don’t even have to think about your payment. It will just automatically pay it for you. Automatic bill payments are a great way to take away some of the stress of making payments since you’ll be making every one on time!

How to Avoid Late Payments

Instead of dwelling on the missed payment you just missed, make a promise to yourself that you won’t miss anymore. There are many strategies you can take to be more on top of your payments. 

If you just forgot to make your payment, see if your lender offers text reminders. A simple calendar reminder might slip your mind, but occasionally receiving text messages reminding you to make your payment can be more effective. If they don’t offer this, do everything you can to remind your future self to pay. Write a note on something you use every morning. Set an alarm that goes off every day that reminds you to make your payments. Make your screensaver on your phone or computer a reminder to pay. Whatever works best for you!

If you missed a payment because you mismanaged your money, take steps to be smarter with your expenses. Budgeting apps like Mint can help you be on top of your expenses and make sure you don’t spend too much before you make your payments. 

Final Thoughts

We all make mistakes here and there. You’re human! While missing a loan or credit card payment by one day won’t affect your credit, a payment that is 30+ days late will. Make budgets, set reminders and do everything else you can to make sure you are on top of your payments and your credit score stays strong!

Michael Collins

Michael has a passion for writing and brought that passion to Possible. He enjoys reading everything there is to know about film, sports, and finance. His studies in college have allowed him to be on the forefront of business knowledge so he can better inform his readers.

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