A woman missed her auto loan payment

How Much Does a Late Car Payment Impact Your Credit?

Milad Hassibi January 3, 2019


Financing a car allows consumers the choice to purchase a car they could not afford to pay for in cash. However, some consumers find themselves in a position where they have missed an auto loan payment.

Ideally, consumers should make their car payments on time and in full in order to maintain a healthy credit score. If you miss a car payment but catch it early enough, you can decrease the impact it will have on your credit score.

Will a Late Car Payment Impact My Credit?

If you miss the due date on your auto loan payment, your lender has probably already considered it to be late. Depending on your contract, your lender may be able to assign a late fee to your delinquent account.

Missed auto loan payments can have a negative impact on your credit score

Thankfully, it is not difficult to recover from a missed auto loan payment. Be sure to make your next payment on time including the late fee (if applicable).

A creditor also cannot legally report any late auto loan payments until the payment is officially 30 days past due. If this occurs, take note and report it to the three credit bureaus.

Get a Car Loan with Any Credit Along with a Happy Couple and a New Black SUV next to them

Missing one payment can sometimes be an accident, but be sure to avoid falling into the habit of constantly missing auto loan payments, as it can have a detrimental impact to your credit score.

Preventing Late Auto Loan Payment

How can you be sure that you will never miss an auto loan payment again?

  • Automatic Payments – Most lenders will have a software program that automatically withdraws your auto loan payment from your bank account. Ask your lender about enrolling in automatic payments.
  • Choose Dates – Some lenders are flexible and allow consumers to choose the dates they pay their auto loan. Usually, this is aimed at helping low-income families match their auto loan due date to their payday.
  • Call Your Lender– Auto lenders can be more understanding than you think. If you are worried you may miss a payment, speak to your lender about finding alternatives

Final Note

All in all, missing a single auto loan payment should not impact your score significantly if it was a one-time offense and you have a history of on-time payments. If you have less than perfect credit and don’t know where to go, CrediReady can help.

Our trusted network of credit repair experts can boost your score and help you qualify for the credit you need. Take a moment to fill out our free no-obligation credit repair inquiry form and start fixing your credit today!



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