We all try to keep on top of our bills, but every once and a while there’s a bump in the road and we might miss a payment. Unfortunately, a 30-day late payment will report on your credit report and lower your score. How much will your FICO drop? There are a lot of factors that go into it, which we’ll go over here.
First off, if you realize you’re late on a payment call your bank or lender immediately. It may not be too late to salvage the situation and keep the late reporting off of your credit report. Different lenders report on different days of the month, so if you are proactive they might work something out to get you paid up. Some of the bigger credit card companies, for instance, have their own internal systems of late reporting that will keep the issues out of the credit bureau’s site for longer than you may expect.
However, if the 30-day late does hit your credit score, what damage will it do? There are five major factors to determine how much your score will drop:
Since credit reporting is set up on a chronological metric, recency of late payments are perhaps the biggest factor in score changes. Simply put, the more recent the late payment occurred, the lower your score will drop. As time goes on (and you make your payments responsibly) the negative impact will diminish. All items report for 7 years, but the more recent the late payment, the bigger the hit.
2. How severe were any late payments (30, 60, 90-day late or charge off?)
Of course a 60 or even 90-day late payment is exponentially worse for your credit score than one 30-day late. Why? Credit reporting is all about gauging risk, and a 60 or 90 shows that instead of an accident or isolated incident, there is some serious financial trouble and your score will drop accordingly. Avoid a 90-day late payment at all costs.
3. How many accounts have had late payments?
If you only have one account with a late payment or payments, it will hurt your score less than if you have missed payments scattered over multiple accounts.
4. What kind of account is it?
A 30-day late payment on a mortgage loan might hurt you more than on a store retail card with a $200 credit limit.
5. Length of history.
Accounts that are well seasoned – that have been open and in good standing or a long time – will take less of a hit than newer accounts. Remember that payment history comprises up to 35% of your scoring model so these factors are all important.
With all of that said, here is the direct answer:
If you have a 30-day late on your credit report, your score may drop around 80 points if you’re in the 680 range, or up to 90-110 points if you’re 780 or higher. Counter to common sense, the better your credit score is, the bigger hit it will take if you miss a payment.