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What Happens if I Miss a Credit Card Payment?

In case you were wondering, missing a credit card payment by a day won’t be the end of your credit score.

Now that’s out of the way, what if you miss your credit card payment by 30 days? 60 days? What if you stop paying altogether?

In this article, you’ll learn about what happens if you miss a credit card payment by a month or more, and what you can do to offset the consequences. 


There are generally three consequences to a late credit card payment, which in this context means not paying at least the minimum balance owed on your card by the due date of your statement balance. 

  1. A late fee
  2. A penalty APR
  3. The cancellation of your 0% introductory APR 

Late fees

A late fee sounds like what it is - a fee that your credit company charges you for not paying the minimum balance on your credit card. Typically, late fees are around $37-40. Check your credit card’s terms of services (here’s an example) to know how much you’ll be paying.

Penalty APRs

A penalty APR is a higher APR that is charged to future increases in your statement balance. How high it can go depends on what’s said in your credit card’s terms of services.

The cancellation of your 0% introductory APR 

No more interest free credit card debt.

You can try to contact your credit card company to see if they can reinstate your 0% APR, especially if you have any extenuating circumstances that you can mention to explain your non-payment. Do try to get your APR down to 0% if your credit card is still quite new since interest payments can become hefty expenses over time.

What can I do to fix my APR and get some late fees back?

You can actually try to get a few late fees waived if you reach out to your credit card company. Usually, that involves a lengthy phone conversation or a back and forth online conversation with a customer representative, which usually still results in a phone call.

Be sure to mention any extenuating circumstances (such as a sudden bill or loss of income) that may have caused you to delay your credit card payments. 

If extenuating circumstances did not cause you to miss a payment, and you simply forgot to pay, be upfront and honest. Tell your credit card company that it was an honest oversight that led you to forget to pay your credit card bill. Chances are, if you’ve been timely with your payments in the past, they may be able to waive late fees that you’ve been charged as well as remove any penalty increases in your card’s APR.

If a lengthy chat with a customer representative is not something you’re in the mood for, you can always sign up for an account with Harvest Platform and have us handle the rest. We can help you negotiate for late fee refunds and possibly even lower your APR.

What about my credit score?

As we said at the start of this article, being late for a day or two on your payment won’t harm your credit score.

Being late for more than 30 days, 60 days, 90 days even. That’s what will harm your credit score.

There are ways to repair a damaged credit score. For example, you can reach out to your credit card company to see if they might be able to remove late payment entries from your credit report. Simply asking can sometimes work. Following the recommended action items with the Harvest PRO Index can also help your credit score.

For more ways on how to repair your credit score, check out this article by Inc. Magazine. If you are still absolutely in need of additional credit even with a low score you can still find lenders who specialize in lending on bad credit.

Closing Thoughts

Missing a single credit card late payment won’t ruin your credit score. Even if you’re 30 days late, there are still ways to offset the damage caused by a late payment, such as reaching out to your credit card company to ask for leniency.

You shouldn’t, however, make missing credit card payments a habit as the consequences of consistently missing credit card payments can go beyond penalty APRs and late fees. It can mean unmanageable credit card debt and much higher interest payments further down the line if you decide to take out a loan for a big ticket purchase (you can’t repair completely repair your credit score, especially if you repeatedly make late payments), to name a few long term consequences. 

So while missing a credit card payment won’t lead to permanent long term consequences, don’t get into the habit of making late payments. Or else you’ll find yourself with problems far more costly than late fees alone.

Have some past late fees you want negotiated right now? Displeased by the APR on your credit card? Sign up with Harvest and we might just be able to lower your APR and get some past late fees refunded.

About the Author

Harvest helps increase the net worth of the 99% through artificial intelligence and financial automation. To date, Harvest has refunded over $2M in bank fees and interest charges to its members with the ultimate goal of increasing the net worth of everyday Americans by $1 trillion by 2030. Our platform starts with providing immediate relief through bank fee and interest charge refunds, orients a member's financial health with our proprietary PRO Index, and keeps track of net worth over time aided by our suite of financial tools. Check out our 8-step guide on "How to Build Wealth from Nothing" to get started on increasing your net worth.

Disclaimer: Harvest is not providing financial advice. The content presented does not reflect the view of the Issuing Banks and is presented for general education and informational purposes only. Please consult with a qualified professional for financial advice.