But in the long run, a late fee is not the most damaging consequence of a missed payment.Let’s consider all the possible consequences: Those last two are actually much more serious than the late fee.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?” Below, we’ll attempt to describe all the possible scenarios that can result from not paying your monthly credit card bill and provide advice for how to handle these situations.
Of course, you could try to switch to a card with a lower interest rate, but that would depend on your credit score…
They will generally be polite but firm, and will warn you of the consequences of non-payment.
Sometimes they’ll offer you ways of settling your debt without paying the full amount.
However, if you make the payment before it becomes 90 days late, you will escape the worst of the damage to your credit score.
(The negative impact will fade much more quickly – perhaps within a year or two – compared to a payment that is more than 90 days late, which will hurt your credit score for up to 7 years) Also, at this point on the timeline (30-60 days late) your account will likely be given to in-house debt collections specialists.
Which brings us to the other big question: will one missed payment (or late payment) affect your credit score?