Some San Diegans struggle with credit card debt in different ways. For some people, the problem is all about the sheer amount of debt. For others, the problem is remembering to make payments every month, on time. The difference between these two problems is that even if people have a large overall amount of debt, sometimes, as long as they make at least the minimum monthly payment, and they pay it on time, their credit score will not take too much of a beating. That is not always the case with delinquent payments.
Failing to make a payment on a credit card bill on time can leave a person facing unique financial challenges. If the creditor reports the fact that a delinquent payment was made, in no time at all, a person's credit score could drop by as much as 100 points. Then, not only does the person have a problem with that one credit card company, they will likely have a problem with all other potential lenders. Poor credit can be a major hindrance in a person's financial affairs.
On top of that, the credit card company could assess a stiff late payment fee. Or, the card could see a sharp increase in the interest rate. Of course, some of these penalties have been curtailed by the CARD Act, which has been covered in a previous post here.
The good news, however, is that if the delinquent payment is an anomaly, a fluke, there is a chance that the credit card company will not report the delinquent payment to the credit bureaus right away. If they receive the payment within a short period of time after the due date, there may not be any problems.
Source: CreditCards.com, "Even barely late payments can impact your credit score," Jeremy M. Simon, June 21, 2011