Are you feeling nervous after making a late payment or is this one of many? It’s so distressing finding yourself in debt and unable to make payments. It can cause such high levels of stress that you end up having nightmares about it all. If it’s any consolation, you’re not alone. So much so that there are many companies out there set up to help people through these tough times. There are actually things you can do on your own but if in doubt, you can hire a credit repair company.
How Late Payments Impact your Credit Score
- A good score is between 670 to 739
- A late payment can impact by just under 4%
- Your overall credit profile is key
It’s worth knowing that a good credit score ranges between 670 and 739 according to one of the three credit bureaus, Equifax. This can usually go up to 800 and be as low as 300 although anything below 670 is starting to be a concern. The true worry though is anyone with a score as low as under 580.
Naturally, different lenders have a range of risk appetites and some might be quite happy lending to a poor debtor with the assumption that they’ll get higher interest rates. It’s also interesting to note that creditors and lenders don’t report to all 3 bureaus so you might want to get your credit report from each one.
Late Payment Impact
There are many things that impact a credit score. These include how on time you are with your payments as well as your credit utilization ratio. Essentially, this refers to how much of your available debt you’re actually using. So, it’s wise to try to keep your credit card amounts to the lowest you can, for example.
Overall though, a late payment can reduce your score by just under 4%. Therefore, this can be a concern if you’re already on the limit. Clearly though, all of us face life’s challenges at some point or other but there are things you can do to help limit the impact on your credit score.
Overall Credit Profile
The most important thing to bear in mind is your overall profile. One late payment clearly won’t have as much impact as a long list of late payments will. Having said that, sometimes one late payment can have a proportionately bigger impact than simply 1 out of many.
Actually, this is where a credit repair company can be good advice. Basically, they can give you unbiased feedback as to the true impact of your late payment. As you might expect though, the longer your payment is delayed then the bigger the impact on your credit score.
How Long do Late Payments Stay on your Report?
- 7 years
- Can be 10 years in some cases
All late payments stay on your credit report for 7 years. This is governed by the Fair Crediting Reporting Act. This federal law serves to drive the accuracy and fairness of all 3 major credit bureaus: Equifax, TransUnion, Experian. This means that they are essentially accountable to deal with your data in a responsible and ethical way.
There are some cases where your late payments will stay on your reports for 10 years. This usually involves the whole account. So, for instance, even if a payment has been wiped off because the 7 years has expired, the account information stays on your report for 10 years. The bureaus have different policies for this though so it’s worth checking.
How a Credit Repair Company can help
- Remove misinformation from your credit report
- Check their credibility and fee policy
It’s important to remember that you can actually do everything that a credit repair company does for you. There’s nothing stopping you from asking the credit bureaus for your credit reports and then filing a dispute against anything that looks wrong. Of course, you can’t remove any legitimate information and neither can a credit repair company.
Having said that, a credit repair company can become your best friend. The whole experience of dealing with debt, collection agencies, and legal proceedings can be terrifying. Not only does a credit repair company take away the stress but they also know how to deal with these things. They have the legal knowledge and expertise to work out the best strategy for you.
In summary, a credit repair company works with you by asking your lenders to remove information from your report or even sue those who are following bad practices. This unfortunately does happen quite often.
It’s important that you verify the credit repair company you want to work with though. They need to be able to show their certification with the Department for Justice, for instance. Although, you can also check their rating with the Better Business Bureau.
Parting Words on Late Payments and working with a Credit Repair Company
No one likes dealing with debt but it’s unfortunately a part of most people’s lives at some point. However, there’s no need to feel lost because there are steps you can take to help yourself. Best of all, you can work with a credit repair company to bear the burden of the whole process for you. You don’t have to be alone.