Your interest rate might go up by 10% (from say, 15% to 25%) and if you still have years left to pay off your balance, that additional interest will add up to a painful amount (see our article on the Impact of One Late Credit Card Payment for more details).
Of course, you could try to switch to a card with a lower interest rate, but that would depend on your credit score…
The credit bureaus maintain your credit report and compile your credit score, which lenders use to determine whether to let you borrow money – and at what interest rate.
When you have missed a payment, your credit card company can play “hardball” and report you immediately after the 30 day window is up, or they can give you a bit of time to fix the problem before reporting it.
Imagine this: Your monthly credit card bill comes in and you get that sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach because you know your bank account doesn’t have enough money to make the minimum payment. And in those cases, the thought that runs through your mind is, “What happens if I don’t pay my credit cards?
Sometimes they’ll offer you ways of settling your debt without paying the full amount.
For example, if you have credit score of 740 it might drop all the way down to 640.
That means you’d have to pay higher interest rates on any future credit cards or loans you get – including home mortgages, auto loans, etc.
Keep in mind, if you already have a history of missing payments (or making late payments), they will be more likely to report you after the 30-day mark.
If you are missing payments because the total payment amount is too large, you may want to consider a debt consolidation loan to reduce your total monthly payments. After the second missed payment, you will be charged another late fee of -35 and the credit card company will be more likely to report your late payment to the credit bureaus.
If you’re in a position to make a payment at this time, you might be able to negotiate at this point and possibly avoid paying some of the late fees that have piled up.