If you are facing financial hardship because of a job loss or furlough, and having trouble paying credit card bills on time – or if you just missed the due date by accident – you may want to know when a late payment will appear on your credit reports, and if there is any kind of grace period.
Even a single late or missed payment may impact credit reports and credit scores. But the short answer is: late payments generally won’t end up on your credit reports for at least 30 days after the date you miss the payment, although you may still incur late fees.
If you’re only a few days or a couple of weeks late on the payment, and you make the full late payment before that 30 days is up, lenders and creditors may not report it to the credit bureaus as a late payment. Keep in mind, if you aren’t able to make the full payment, and only make a partial payment, it generally will be reported as late.
Here’s how the process generally works:
On the account closing date, your statement or bill is generated.
Then comes your payment due date, which is shown on your bill or statement. It’s the date by which you should make at least the minimum payment to avoid late fees or incur interest charges. Usually, your due date is the same – for example, the 15th of every month — and it’s best to make payments on time, every time.
A third date is the reporting date, which is usually the date your account information is reported to the nationwide credit bureaus. (Remember that not all lenders and creditors report to all three credit bureaus — some may report to only two, one or none at all.)
Generally speaking, the reporting date is at least 30 days after the payment due date, meaning it’s possible to make up late payments before they wind up on credit reports. Some lenders and creditors don’t report late payments until they are 60 days past due.
It’s important to note that even if a late payment doesn't show up on credit reports immediately, late fees may be applied quickly after the due date.
If you have missed a payment on your account by 30 days or more, but you are able to pay it before the next payment due date, your lender or creditor should report the account as being current, but the late payment that they may have already reported will remain on your credit reports for seven years.