How Long Do Late Payments Stay on Credit Reports?

Late credit card payments can stay on your credit report for a long time, and they may affect your credit score

Late credit card payments, also called delinquencies, generally appear on credit reports for seven years. And in many cases, those reported delinquencies can affect credit scores. 

But there’s plenty more to know—like when payments are considered late and when they’re actually reported. So keep reading to explore some of the details and to learn steps you can take to avoid missing payments.

When Is a Payment Considered Late?

When payments are considered late can vary depending on the credit card issuer. But as long as a credit card payment is received by 5 p.m. on the date it’s due, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) says it can’t be considered late. Some issuers may even accept payments later than 5 p.m. on the due date without considering them past due.

When Is a Late Payment Reported to Credit Bureaus?

Just because a payment is late doesn’t mean it will be reported. If a payment is made before it’s 30 days past due, it likely won’t show up on credit reports from the three major credit bureaus: Experian®, Equifax® and TransUnion®.

There are a few reasons for that. One is because those bureaus have standardized the way negative information is reported. That includes late payments. And within that system, there’s no method or code available to report payments that are between one and 29 days late.

What Happens if a Payment Is Between 1 and 29 Days Late?

Even if a late payment isn’t reported, there could still be consequences. Your issuer can charge a late fee, even if it’s the first time your credit card payment is late. And being late again within the next six billing cycles can result in an even higher fee.

Late payments could also affect your interest rate. You can check with your credit card issuer or read your card agreement for more information.

What Happens if a Payment Is More Than 30 Days Late?

Late payments are also typically reported at 60 days, 90 days, 120 days and 150 days. At 180 days, an account is required to be charged off. That means the account is closed and written off as a loss by the issuer. 

But be aware that some lenders may charge off accounts earlier than 180 days. And even when an account is charged off, the debt is still owed. And it could be sent to collections.

How Do Late Payments Affect Credit Scores?

People have multiple credit scores, and everyone’s situation is different. So it’s impossible to say exactly how a late payment will affect your credit. But payment history is an important scoring factor for two of the most popular scoring companies: FICO® and VantageScore®.  

FICO says it uses three criteria to judge late payments: severity, frequency and recency. That means a few things when it comes to its credit scores: 

  • A payment reported 30 days late could have less impact than one reported 60 days late and so on.
  • Being late multiple times, including across multiple accounts, could have a bigger impact than a single delinquency.
  • A late payment that happened more recently could have a bigger effect than one from years ago.

When Do Late Payments Fall Off a Credit Report?

A late payment typically stays on credit reports for seven years. For example, say a payment was missed on September 1, 2021. After 30 days, the issuer reports it as late to the bureaus. That means the late payment wouldn’t fall off the credit report until October 2028.

But the CFPB says there are circumstances—related to certain job, credit or insurance applications—in which the seven-year limit may not apply. So even though a late payment may have fallen off a report, the information could still be in a person’s file.

Avoiding Late Payments

Seven years can feel like a long time. But there may be steps you can take to avoid late payments:

  1. Check your due date. It may seem obvious, but make sure you know when your payment is due every month. If yours falls at an awkward time—maybe you have other bills due the same day—you could request a new payment due date.
  2. Check your minimum payments. It’s also important to know how much you owe every month. Making at least the minimum payment every month can help you keep your account in good standing and avoid fees and penalties. If you can, paying more than the minimum can help you avoid interest charges and save money over time.
  3. Check on notifications and reminders. You could check to see if your issuer offers alerts or notifications about things like due dates. Even if that’s not an option, you could set your own reminders on your calendar, phone or computer.
  4. Consider automatic payments. Many issuers give customers the option to set up recurring payments. If you’re a Capital One cardholder, you can set up AutoPay to make automatic monthly credit card payments. AutoPay gives you options to decide how much you pay, including the minimum payment, the last statement balance or a custom amount.
  5. Talk to your credit card issuer. If you know you’ll be unable to make a payment on time, it could help to be proactive. Card issuers work with people every day. You could reach out to yours to ask what resources might be available. 

You can also keep an eye on your credit by using a free tool like CreditWise from Capital One. It’s free for everyone—you don’t have to be a Capital One customer. And using it won’t hurt your credit score. Plus, it has a feature called the CreditWise Simulator that can show you how missed payments could affect your credit. You can also get free copies of your credit reports by visiting

Life gets busy. Work gets hectic. A due date can slip anyone’s mind. If you do have a late payment reported, there are still things you can do to help improve your credit scores. And it may also help to learn some other common credit mistakes to avoid.

Learn more about Capital One’s response to COVID-19 and resources available to customers. For information about COVID-19, head over to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Government and private relief efforts vary by location and may have changed since this article was published. Consult a financial adviser or the relevant government agencies and private lenders for the most current information.

We hope you found this helpful. Our content is not intended to provide legal, investment or financial advice or to indicate that a particular Capital One product or service is available or right for you. For specific advice about your unique circumstances, consider talking with a qualified professional.

Your CreditWise score is calculated using the TransUnion® VantageScore® 3.0 model, which is one of many credit scoring models. It may not be the same model your lender uses, but it can be one accurate measure of your credit health. The availability of the CreditWise tool depends on our ability to obtain your credit history from TransUnion. Some monitoring and alerts may not be available to you if the information you enter at enrollment does not match the information in your credit file at (or you do not have a file at) one or more consumer reporting agencies.

The CreditWise Simulator provides an estimate of your score change and does not guarantee how your score may change.

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