Late payments stay on your credit report for up to 7 years from the date your delinquency is reported to the credit bureaus. Creditors can report a late payment to the bureaus once the account becomes 30 days past-due. The 7-year timeframe applies whether there is a series of late payments or a single late payment.
It’s also important to note that there are different rules for how long the record of a late payment stays on your credit report versus how long the account associated with the late payment stays. Accounts closed in good standing remain on your credit report for 10 years, while accounts not in good standing remain for 7 years.
How Long Records of Late Payments Stay on Your Credit Report
- Series of Late Payments. If a creditor reports one late payment on July 1, 2020, another on August 1 and yet another on September 1, before you bring your account current, record of the late payments in that series would stay on your credit report until July 1, 2027.
- Single Late Payment. If a late payment is reported on July 1, 2020 and you miss no other due dates after that, the single late payment reported to the bureaus would stay on your credit report until July 1, 2027.
Credit Score Damage After a Late Payment
A credit score that’s in good shape will suffer more from a late payment than one that is average or poor. For example, a credit score of 800 might drop to 740 or 720 after a single late payment, while a credit score of 600 could drop to 580 or 560.
If your credit score has dropped due to a late payment, your best bet is to slowly add positive information to your credit report. Paying your bills on time and decreasing your credit utilization will help you boost your score organically. You can only remove late payments from your credit report before 7 years if the late payment record is inaccurate. If that’s the case, you can file a dispute with the credit bureau that produced your report.
You can get customized credit improvement advice for free on WalletHub, the first and only website to offer free daily updates to your credit score and credit report. To avoid credit score damage in the future, you can also check out our guide for tips on how to avoid late payments.