FICO Score & Late Payments

What are the different categories of late payments and how does your FICO score consider late payments?


FICO takes into account three general criteria regarding late payments:

First, how recent the late payments are.  

Second, how severe the late payments are.

Third, how frequently late payments occur.


Because of this, a recent late payment can be more detrimental to your FICO score than numerous late payments that happened in the past.  On your credit report the late payments are listed based on how late they are.  Typically, creditors will report late payments as 30-days late, 60-days late, 90-days late, 120-days late, 150-days late, or charge off.  Charge off denotes the late payment was written off as a loss because of how severe the delinquency is.  


As expected, a 90 or 120-days late payment is worse than a 30-day late payment but do understand that you can recover from a late payment prior to charge-off by getting caught up and continuing to stay current on your payments.  If you continue to NOT pay your debt and the creditor charges it off or sends it to a collection agency it is a significant regret in reference to your score and will have a severe negative impact.


It is very important to stay current on your bills.  Payment history is the most influential factor when calculating your FICO score.  There are circumstance that may arise when you are simply unable to keep current with your bills.  For example, an unexpected medical emergency or loss of employment would make it very difficult if not impossible to stay current.  However, before you are late on your payments, it is recommended that you contact your creditor.  They may be willing to work out a mutually beneficial arrangement with you.  If your creditors are unwilling to work with you, avoid having the account go delinquent and having it sent to a collection agency or turning into a judgement.  


Remember, late payments are damaging to your credit score but you can becoming current by paying off the debt.  However, once it becomes a judgement or is turned over to a collection agency, you can never gain get that account current.



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