AGAWAM, Mass. (WWLP) – Millions of Americans are behind on credit card payments, according to a study released by the Urban Institute. Making one late payment on your credit card bill can hurt your score and stay on your credit report for up to seven years.
A credit counseling manager told 22News that one late payment is enough to drop your score anywhere from 15 to 30 points, depending on the type of credit your dealing with. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to get your credit back on track.
“You want to catch up on the bill you fell behind with, work out a plan with the creditor, and just set up auto payments, set up automatic drafts,” says John Szalicki, a credit counseling manager. “Get that bill caught up and continue to make those payments on time, and over time you’ll slowly rebuild that credit score. But there is no quick fix.”
Counselors also work with your credit card company to find a plan that fits your budget. Paying off overdue bills won’t remove bad credit, but it can reduce it’s impact.
Experts recommend checking your credit report for free online and finding out your score a couple of times each year.