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Late Payments – What Really Happens If I Have One?

Avoiding paying off debt can have numerous negative impacts on your financial situation. Dealing with the situation head-on when you know you will have late payments can help you in the long run. Our debt counselors always recommend taking action sooner rather than later. Creditors will be more willing to work with you to figure out payment options for credit card debt settlement. So what else happens when you are late on your payments?

late payments

Follow ACCC’s advice if you have late payments.

Late Payments – What Really Happens If I Have One?

The biggest mistake a consumer can make when it comes to debt management is assuming late payments are okay. No financial windfall is going to really help either; waiting to earn a salary to settle your debts is not the right approach. Depending on your lender and your payment track record, the company might have a grace period of a week before incurring a late fee or maybe they will even reverse it. Then there are other companies that offer the option for borrowers to qualify for forbearance. However, you will never know if you are eligible unless you reach out to your lenders. Let’s look at some cost categories and the impact these have on late payments.

Auto Lenders are Less Forgiving Than Others

When it comes to late payments on your car, lenders are less merciful than others. However, it all depends on the individual lender. Some will be more prone to repossess your vehicle while others may be open to discussing options with you.

Car Loan Payment Options

If it’s looking like you are going to be making late payments on your car loan, speak to your lender as soon as you can. If the reason for the late payments is a temporary setback, you can speak with the lender to lower a few payments until you get back on track. You may be able to make these arrangements with your lender until you make up the missing amount at the end of the loan.

Refinancing is an option for more long-term savings and avoiding late payments altogether. This means you would wind up with a lower interest rate or a longer loan term, so start by asking your current lender. Remember that you may pay more this way, but you can stay out of trouble.

Missing Mortgage Payments

Missing a mortgage payment puts you at risk of foreclosure. If you miss a second payment, it makes your situation even more dire. Since most lenders require homeowners to make a payment at the beginning of the month, a grace period is usually only given until the 15th of the month. Once you have surpassed that date, your payment will be considered delinquent. The good news is that the majority of lenders will not report that the payment is late to the three credit bureaus until it has been 30 days late.

Whether it’s credit cards, a mortgage or some other debt, late payments can be reported and harm your credit report and credit score. You can also stand to lose the collateral associated with that loan. If you find yourself scrambling to make payments, speak to your creditors before things get too out of hand.

If you’re struggling to pay off debt, ACCC can help. Schedule a free credit counseling session with us today. 


Dilini is a Marketing Communications & Programs Associate at ACCC. To anyone, managing finances can be a real challenge! Any tips and tricks to help get through this are great! Dilini will share her experiences, tips, and tricks along the way through the Talking Cents blog. Stay tuned!

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