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Money Management

I Missed a Credit Card Payment! What’s Going to Happen?

So you just missed a credit card payment. It’s normal to panic, so the first question you’re probably asking is how much panicking you should be doing.

Unfortunately, missing a credit card payment does carry some expensive consequences. The exact costs will be determined by how late you pay and the terms of your credit card.

The most likely outcome of a missed payment is a late fee. The late fee will typically cost you anywhere from $10-$40. After that, you’ll have to pay a penalty annual percentage rate (APR). APRs are separate from interest rates, and they are always higher when left to grow. When you miss a payment, your APR spikes. This spike is only temporary, so long as you start making payments on time. The exact terms will determine how long you must wait and what you must do to have your APR reverted back to its normal rate.

Of course, in the long term, missed payments can lead to your credit score taking a hit. The longer you take to make payments, the worse a hit your credit score will take. Missing credit card payments by more than 30 days carries serious consequences. However, missing by just a day or two shouldn’t cause you much trouble. Most credit card issuers don’t even report payments that are less than 30 days late to credit bureaus. Just remember to take that 30 day window seriously, as it makes the difference between no effect on your credit score and a massive hit.

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