What Happens if You Miss a Credit Card Payment?

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What Happens if You Miss a Credit Card Payment?

Missing a credit card payment or making a late payment is never a good thing, and it can cause a lot of panic and stress for credit card users. However, if you act quickly and don’t ignore the issue, you may be able to minimize the damage. 

At Pivotal Wealth, we are here to help our clients become financially literate, make smart financial decisions, and become debt free. Read on to learn more about what happens when you miss a credit card payment and what you can do about it. 

Paying Your Credit Card Bill Late: The Consequences

If you realize you have missed a credit card payment, the worst thing you can do is nothing. Do not ignore the problem! If the missed payment is left unresolved, you’ll face a late fee, a potential penalty APR, as well as interest charged on the balance. Having a late payment can also negatively affect your credit score.

Most credit card companies actually charge interest on a daily basis. This means that you will be accruing interest each day past the due date that you don’t pay the balance. It’s important to act quickly once you realize you’ve missed a payment, in order to negate as many of the potential consequences as possible.

Always Make the Minimum Payment

If possible, pay at least the minimum amount due on your account. Card issuers report late payments to credit bureaus, but the late payment code typically is not used until your payment is over 30 days past due. 

If you are able to make a payment before that time, you may be able to avoid it hurting your credit score. This is not a guaranteed solution, and there is a possibility that missing a payment will be reported before that 30 day mark.

Call Your Credit Card Issuer

Once you miss a payment, two new charges will most likely appear on your account. These charges will be a late fee and interest on the balance. If you missed your payment accidentally, you may be able to salvage the situation by paying off the balance as soon as you realize your mistake and call your card issuer. 

If you are able to explain to your card issuer that you made a mistake, they may be generous enough to refund the late fee and interest charges if you can pay the balance in full. However, the lender is well within their rights to decline any refunds to charges that occurred as a result of your mistakes.

Get Help From a Financial Professional

Pivotal Wealth helps ordinary people become financially literate and debt free. Our team of experts has the expertise to help you through any type of financial difficulty. If you are struggling to make credit card payments, or if you are concerned about your credit score, we can help! Give us a call today to learn more about how you can improve your credit after making a late credit card payment.


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Matt Lovelady is a co-founder and managing vice president of Pivotal Wealth. He has launched multiple businesses in the financial services space and is passionate about helping people become debt-free, build their wealth, and plan effectively for their retirement.