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- If you are late with a card payment by more than 30 days, your lender could report this delinquency to credit reporting agencies.
- This negative information about your delinquency (which the lender could also write off or send to collections if you are delinquent for, typically, six months) could stay on your credit report for up to seven-and-a-half years from the date you first missed your payment.
- If this negative information lingers on your credit report for longer than it should, it would impede your attempts to move past the delinquency.
If you’re late with a credit card payment, your account will be considered delinquent and could even be written off by the lender or sent to collections. This would also be noted on your credit report.
How long does this negative information stay on your credit report, though? That depends on a specific date called the date of first delinquency.
Impact of late payments
If you make your credit card payment within 30 days after it is due, your issuer will not report the matter to credit reporting agencies. This means this late payment will not have any credit score consequences. However, you would still be charged a late fee.
If you are more than 30 days overdue, though, the lender can report the matter to credit reporting agencies, in turn bringing down your credit score. Considering that your payment history accounts for 35 percent of your credit score, the impact of a delinquent payment could be considerable. The older a missed payment is, the less of an impact it will have on your credit score.
And if you are late for more than 60 days, besides credit score consequences, the issuer could also raise your card’s interest rate. Moreover, lenders will typically charge off your account or turn it over to debt collectors once it is more than six months past due.
Date of first delinquency
Any negative information relating to a late payment or charge off can stay on your credit report for about seven years after you first missed the payment — even if you’ve paid off the amount due before that. (Note, however, paid off medical debt no longer shows up on credit reports.) This reporting period begins from the date of the first missed payment, or what is known as the “date of first delinquency.”
The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) says that a credit reporting agency cannot cite an account as delinquent that was charged off or sent to collections more than seven-and-a-half years ago. (Once a report becomes delinquent, it typically takes lenders six months to charge it off or send it to collections, so that would be seven-and-a-half years from the date of first delinquency.)
Lenders who report accounts they have sent to collections to credit reporting agencies must also provide a date of first delinquency for these accounts. And debt collectors are also required to report the date of first delinquency that lenders gave them. If the lender didn’t provide a debt collector this date, they should try to establish it with them, or with any other reliable source.
This time limit on reporting of delinquent debt enables consumers to leave their past behind and move on to better outcomes.
Disputing of inaccurate information
The law also allows consumers to dispute inaccurate information on their credit report. This provision enables you to fight any inaccurate input about an account that shows up on your credit report for longer than it should, based on its date of first delinquency. That would be up to seven years for delinquent debt and up to seven-and-a-half years for delinquent debt that was charged off or sent to collections.
You could file a dispute with the credit reporting agency that issued the incorrect information. If more than one of them reported this information, you could file a dispute with each reporting agency. They will have to investigate the matter and get back to you within 30 days. If they find that the input you dispute is indeed incorrect, they will have to correct it.
You could also dispute the matter with the lender that reported the information, and it will investigate the issue and make any necessary corrections to the credit reporting agencies.
The bottom line
If you miss a payment due on your credit card, it would be delinquent, and lenders could even report this delinquency to credit reporting agencies if your payment is more than 30 days overdue. If your lender writes off your account or turns it over to a debt collector, that would also be reported to credit reporting agencies.
This sort of negative information would stay on your credit report for up to seven-and-a-half years from the date you first missed your payment. Once the negative information rolls off your record, you can move past your mistakes.
That date when you first missed your payment is the date of first delinquency. If the negative input about your delinquency lingers on your credit report longer than it should, you can dispute the matter with credit reporting agencies or your lender.