How To Recover Your Credit Score After Late Payments

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How To Recover Your Credit Score After Late Payments

Sometimes, adversity strikes. People experience problems in their life, that’s just a fact of living. When this tragedy, or oversight, is a financial one it can have a negative impact on your credit score, and thus your ability to access needed credit. But just because you had a late payment it doesn’t mean permanent financial problems, even if you were unable to remove the late payment from your credit report. 

You should read my previous article, if you are trying to get a negative entry on your credit report removed. But when that doesn’t work, the best thing you can do to recover your credit score is to set yourself up for success moving forward. As your late payments get closer to the seven-year mark, where they will be removed from your report, you’ll discover that affects your overall score less and less. Here’s how you can help increase your score.

Make It a One-Time Occurrence

The key to showing that your late payment was an honest mistake was to make it a one-time occurrence. By not repeatedly having late payments, you allow for more trust the next time you apply for a loan, mortgage or even another credit card.

Setting up automatic payments from your bank account is recommended for those who often forget to pay on time. But, I don’t recommend this for any bills that vary widely in amount from month to month. Not knowing the payment amount can lead to overdrafts, additional fees, and do further damage when it affects your ability to pay. But for regular recurring payments, automatic payments can take the guesswork out of bill due dates. 

Keep Card Balances Low

Using your credit card frequently is important to show creditors you’re a trustworthy spender. However, if your account balance gets too high it, too, can have a negative effect on your score. You should never leave more than 30 percent of your total credit allowance as a balance on any given card, this helps your credit score and prevents you from incurring more debt than you can manage. This recommendation holds true even if you’re making the minimum payment required each month. So, if you can, pay those cards down. Your score will rise when you don’t have high balances.

If you aren’t able to pay your cards down, you might want to consider switching your balance to a new card, using a balance transfer card. This can help you pay off your balance faster by avoiding interest rates using the zero percent APR promotions that can be found on most new cards. But, be sure not to get distracted by new card offers and promises of point bonuses. Opening new cards, especially balance transfer cards, can ding your score, temporarily, so only open one up if you really need it. Also, don’t close the old cards. Having old cards can help your score, because it establishes payment history. Continue to use them each month to keep them active, even if you are only buying one small item that you can easily pay off, such as a soda. 

Get Your Status to “Current” Quickly

If you missed a loan payment, the status of that account will be available on your credit report. Do what you can to get that status updated to “current”, or paid in full, as quickly as you can. This is important to boost your score and avoid long-term damage. Obligations reporting as current are always better than ones that continue to report missed payments. Overtime, the effect of the missed payment will lessen.


A missed payment, while unfortunate, isn’t the end of the world when it comes to your credit score or your overall financial goals. If you can’t remove the record of your negative payment, try to get caught up. Don’t miss any more obligations. The best thing you can do is to keep moving forward and working to make future payments on time. Time is your friend when it comes to recovering your credit score. Budget and plan. Staying on top financial matters can prevent a late payment from ever happening again.

About The Author

Philip Shockey is specializes in credit repair.  If you’ve made a mistake and missed a payment, he can help you get that negative information removed from the report. In most cases, negative information can be disputed and removed completely from your credit report. Even in cases of fraud and identity theft. Philip Shockey restores credit scores.