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Late on your credit card bill? Here's what happens

Nobody plans to pay their credit card bills late. It's just what happens either as a result of forgetfulness, or because you don't have enough money to make the payment. However, if you have a credit card, you should know that late payments can result in serious consequences -- not only for your credit card balance, but also for your credit card rating.

Let's say you wait 30 days after the due date to pay your credit card bill. Usually, this will result in a fee of up to $35. You might also get a note about the late fee and the reason for it on your credit report. Your APR on new purchases could also be increased.

If your card goes between 30 and 60 days overdue, you'll definitely get reported to the credit agencies, and your credit report will reflect this late payment. Your credit rating will subsequently be decreased as a result.

Once you hit 60 days after your payment date, the consequences will get even worse. Your credit report and credit score will become even more damaged, and you could have your APR on new purchases increased to as much as 29.99 percent.

You might think you're doing a good job by paying only some of your credit card bill, and this is actually a good idea if it's the only thing you're able to afford -- as your credit card company might not immediately report you to the credit rating agencies. However, partial payments will still technically be categorized as missed payments.

If you've gotten behind on credit card payments, be sure to talk to a debt and bankruptcy lawyer before things get too far out of hand. The sooner you get legal assistance with your debt challenges, the sooner you can get them resolved and behind you.

Source: Value Penguin, "Understanding Your Credit Card Bill," Robert Harrow, accessed March 24, 2017

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