We all know that paying our bills late will affect our credit score. What most people don’t know is that a single 90-day late payment can be just as damaging as bankruptcy filing, a tax lien, a collection, a judgment or a repossession. It makes no difference whether it’s your $50 credit card bill or a $2,000 mortgage payment. All that matter is that you were 90 days late in paying your due balance.
Payment punctuality makes up 35 percent of your overall credit score. Not delaying your bill payments is generally the single most important contributor to a good credit score. Late payment on any bill, for any length of time, is considered a possible sign of future non-payment and is always taken negatively by lenders. Not to mention that they stay on your credit report for 7 years from the date of the first missed payment.
A 30 or 60 day late payment is only damaging to your credit score while it is being reported as currently past due. They are usually not a cause for lasting damage to your credit score after this period passes, unless you make a habit of making 30 or 60 day late payments.
If you only have a few 30-60 day late payments listed on your credit report, the smart thing to do is to get in touch with your creditor by phone and request them to remove it. Be nice about how you ask them. Follow the telephone request with a well-crafted written request to have the isolated late payments removed from your report. However, if you consistently make late payments, it might take a little more effort.
Like mentioned earlier, a 90-120 day late payment is very damaging. At around 90-120 days, the creditor will, in most cases, write off the account and it will stick to your credit report for the next 7 years as a charge off.
If you fail to convince the creditors to remove the late payments history from your report, you can always dispute them with the credit bureaus.
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