Unfortunately, almost all of us dealing with credit have made the occasional late payment. Credit score ratings hurt by late payments, so it is important to try to get those payments in on time. Here is some useful basic information about late payment credit score issues.
There are three different credit reporting bureaus, Equifax, Experian and TransUnion, and each generates a report according to their own information, so the result may be slightly different for each one. However there is no doubt that late payments are part of the equation. If you make a late payment, credit score ratings will reflect that. Keep in mind that there is a difference between a payment that is 30 days late, 60 days late, 90 days late or 120 or more days late. The later you are, the worse it is for your credit score, and obviously the more late payments you have, the more it affects in your score.
This one is easy. Make the payment. Your score won’t immediately bounce back the minute you make a late payment, but it won’t get any worse, at least not because of this issue. Moving forward, simply be sure to make timely payments for all your credit card and loan bills, and your score should get healthy quickly.
If you have paid all your bills on time and your credit report is showing late payments, make sure you contact the credit reporting bureau and have this corrected. Credit reporting bureaus and the credit agencies that report to them do make mistakes, and you shouldn’t suffer as a consequence, especially if you are exercising responsible credit practices.
If you’re concerned that late payments are hurting your credit score, or that the credit bureaus are reporting late payments that they shouldn’t, it’s time to get a copy of your credit report. An effective way to do this is to get a free credit score, and you can see what potential lenders are seeing. If there are late payments on your record, you can take steps to resolve them. If there are late payments recorded where there shouldn’t be, you’ll know and be able to let the credit bureaus know before any more damage is done to your credit.
One of your best weapons against credit problems is knowledge. If you make the effort to always know where you stand regarding late payments, credit scores, and your credit history, you’ll be much better equipped to make the changes you need to boost your score. With a boosted score, you’ll have increased borrowing power for a mortgage loan, a credit card, or whatever your needs may be.