Importance of Timely Mortgage Payments
The economy is tough on everyone right now. You may find yourself with the unenviable task of deciding which bills must be paid now, and which ones can wait another few weeks or even until next month. You are definitely not alone in this situation. If you need to pay bills that will cause you to miss your mortgage this month, but you know you can catch up next month, is it worth it to do it? That depends on how important it is to you to maintain a good credit score.
What happens when you are late on a mortgage payment?
Nothing happens to your credit score or your relationship with your mortgage company unless you are 30 days or more past your due date on paying your mortgage. You may get charged a late fee if you are more than a couple of weeks overdue, but everything else will be okay.
However, once you hit 30 days late, that late payment will be reported to at least one—and maybe all three—of the credit bureaus. This will bring down your credit score, possibly by 20 to 50 points, though that varies from credit bureau to credit bureau. It can take months or more of making on-time payments to bring your score back up. Missing a payment is not something you want to do if you’ll be applying for new credit soon.
How long does the delinquent payment stay on your credit report?
Delinquent mortgage payments can stay on your credit report for up to seven years. New mortgage lenders will look negatively on even one missed payment, so do not miss one if you know you will be looking to buy a new house soon. That missed payment may force you into being a renter instead.
Missing a mortgage payment may be tempting if you have other important bills to pay on a particular month. However, if you know you will need new credit soon, or aren’t sure, play it safe and make sure your mortgage payment gets paid on time.