What if I forgot to pay my credit card? Two steps to fix late payments.

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Paying your credit card on schedule is the most critical factor in building a good credit history and credit score. Late payment can often result in a fine. More importantly, it will likely damage your credit, which will negatively affect you when applying for credit cards and other loans, like car loans and mortgages.

So, what is the impact of late payment, how to remedy it, and how can I avoid it?

What is the late payment?

The following picture shows a Bank of America credit card account. The payment due date is 08/05/2020, and the total minimum payment is $986.51. If the cardholder does not pay $25 by 08/05/2020, the payment is considered late.

The impact of late payment

Impact on credit history/score

Once the late payment is reported to the credit bureau, it will lower your credit score and can remain on your record for up to 7 years.

The impact of poor credit history and low credit scores can include the following:

  1. Making it harder to get a loan or get a credit card approved.
  2. You will face higher interest rates when borrowing for things like car loans and mortgages
  3. Some landlords will reject rental applicants


A late payment will incur a late payment fee, currently around $40 for major US banks.

Impact on APR

After late payment occurs, the credit card’s interest rate will rise sharply (this is called a penalty APR), which is an increased annual percentage interest rate.

What if late payment happens?

  1. Repay immediately

Pay at least the minimum payment as soon as possible. The fastest way to repay is online repayment, but you can also go to the bank to repay if you have questions.

  1. Contact the bank

After you make the payment, contact the bank to explain the reason for the delay. Politely ask if it is possible to not report this late payment to the credit bureau. If this is your first time missing a payment, the bank will generally agree to this request.

  1. Pay your future bills on time!

How to avoid late payment?

In fact, it is very simple! Just set up auto-pay for the credit card to automatically repay to avoid late payment.


Arturo Mendez

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