Select Page

I Was a Few Days Late on a Payment. What Now?

- Oct 24, 2021 Building Credit, credit0 comments

You got a credit card statement in the mail, and… Boom! You were thrown a late fee and your account is past due. You ask yourself, How in the world did this happen? 

Should you now say goodbye to the great credit you worked so hard to build? Is your secure life as you knew it ‘till now over?!? I know there are blogs out there that will try to get you more scared and tell you how much trouble you are in. But I am going to tell you to calm down. It’s no big deal. Everything can be dealt with!

Banks don't report less than 30 days late

The number one thing you should know is that banks will not report your payment as late until it’s a full 30 days past due. Meaning, if your payment was due January 1 and you paid it January 25, it will still be reported as an on-time payment. 

Why? Because credit bureaus do not allow banks to report a late payment before it’s a full 30 days past due. Banks and creditors can only report past due payments in 30 day increments. So it will be either  30 days past due, 60 days past due, 90, 120 etc. 

 The credit bureaus do not give the banks an option of reporting a payment as 3 days past due. And if they do report a 3 day past due payment as 30 days past due, it will be a violation to the Fair Credit Report Act as it will be inaccurately reported on the credit report. 

Discover and Amex, as a one-time courtesy, will not report a late payment until it is 60 days past due.

Pro tip: You can also ask the bank to waive the late fee as a one-time courtesy. Usually they will waive it just by asking.

A one-time 30 day late payment is not the worst thing

There is a well-known joke. What is worse than finding a mouse in your house?… Finding two! But in all seriousness, credit score models understand that every person may have valid reasons why they were late on a payment. As long as you don’t repeat it again, in the long run, it won’t affect your credit too much. The first few months will be affected the most, and then slowly, it will go back up again. By as fast as six months, everything will be back to normal. (Keep all your credit cards open. Now would not be the time to close cards. You would need as many positive accounts as possible.)

If your payment is 60 days past due then that is a bit worse but still not that bad. 90 days past due is already very serious and will affect your credit much more and for much longer.

You can read more about how long late payments affect your credit score here.

Try to ask the bank for a one time courtesy

It used to be very common for banks to extend a one time courtesy and remove late payments from your credit report if you asked. 

Recently, these courtesies are almost non-existent. But it doesn’t hurt to try. Plus, if you can explain to the bank that you recently got married or had a baby etc., which caused you to miss the payment (provide proof such as a wedding invitation, etc) then that can greatly up your chances of success with obtaining a courtesy. It’s also recommended to try to reach out to the bank’s corporate department as they have the real power to help you. You can try to search emails for the bank’s corporate department on hunter.io.

Step by step guide on how to deal with a single 30 day late payment

Step by Step Guide 

Based on what we discussed above, if you find yourself a few days late on a payment, here is what you should do.

  • Make the payment as soon as possible.
  • Wait a month or two to see if it was reported on your credit report as late.
  • If it was reported as late, try to see if the bank will be willing to forgive you.
  • Be extra careful from now on to never be late on a payment again, because a second late payment will be much worse than the first.

I hope I was able to calm your nerves. Just follow these steps and wish for the best!

Frequently asked questions
I missed an Amex payment and it’s now 40 days passed due. What can I do?
Luckily, as a one time courtesy, Amex does not report your payment as late to the credit bureaus until you're a full 60 days past due. Make a payment ASAP and you can even request Amex to waive the late fee as well
Can I mail a few payments in one envelope to American Express?
It's not recommended as it can get lost in the scanner robot that opens the envelopes (they don't have a human doing that)
How much will a single 30-day late payment affect my score?
Every person is different. It depends on your overall credit report. But in most cases, your score will take a huge hit the first month but then will dramatically increase past the first month and be pretty much back to normal about six months later (assuming it's a one time 30-day late payment)

Was this article helpful?

Sam Sam has nearly a decade's worth of experience educating his many readers on everything credit. Sam spends his days checking out credit cards for a full report, from the minute benefit details to the shebang of welcome bonuses. Plus studying the ins and outs of building proper credit. It’s his favorite pastime and he loves sharing it with others.

Leave A Comments

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

0 Comments

Recent Posts

Follow us

Click here to subscribe to
our WhatsApp channel

Todays
best offers

Ink Business Preferred Credit Card

Earn 100,000 points after spending $15,000 within the first 3 months.

more info

The Business Platinum Card from American Express

Earn 120,000 points after spending $15,000 within the first 3 months. Intro 0% APR on your PayOverTime purchases for up to 12 months (after that 15.74% to 23.74% variable) (terms apply).

more info

Citi Premier Card

Earn 80,000 points after spending $4,000 within the first 3 months

more info

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

Earn 75,000 points after spending $4,000 within the first 3 months.

more info

You May Also Like

Understanding The Fico Scorecards

Understanding The Fico Scorecards

People ask, how much will a late payment affect my credit score? 100 points? 150 points? What effect will high utilization have on my credit score? The answer to all of these questions is that it depends. The Fico scoring model is built to be able to match your credit...

read more
Does Carrying A Balance Help Build Credit? (Myth)

Does Carrying A Balance Help Build Credit? (Myth)

Many people believe that carrying a balance will help them build credit or up their chances of getting approved for a credit card. People think that if they pay interest then the bank is making money off them (that part is true!).  So if the banks are making money,...

read more
Which Credit Score Model Is Used For Mortgage Loans?

Which Credit Score Model Is Used For Mortgage Loans?

As discussed in past posts, there are many different scoring models, resulting in different credit scores. When applying for a mortgage, people often like to know up front what their credit score is, in order to have an idea of what loan type and what loan amount they...

read more
6 Mistakes Beginners Make When Building Credit

6 Mistakes Beginners Make When Building Credit

Every year there are millions of consumers who start building credit for the first time. I often see many consumers making the same mistakes. If I would have a microphone to shout out to all people building credit, here is what I would tell them.

read more
New Guide On How To Build Credit From A-Z

New Guide On How To Build Credit From A-Z

Credit is something that is confusing to many people. Especially for those just starting out to build credit. That’s why we’re excited to announce the release of our new guide on building credit!

read more
Everything You Need to Know About a  Fico Score

Everything You Need to Know About a Fico Score

If you recently applied for a credit card, mortgage, etc.,  you probably bumped into a 3 digit number called your FICO score. What in the world does that three-digit number mean? In this post, we will discuss everything you need to know about Fico scores. Let’s jump...

read more

Download link sent
succesfully

Got it *please check your promotional inbox

Error sending download link

Try Again