How Credit Card Delinquency Works !

To remain current on a credit card account, you must pay at least a percentage of your balance each month. When you don’t, or when you pay less than the minimum monthly payment, you become delinquent.

Usually, it takes at least two missed payments before the credit card company notifies major credit bureaus of the delinquency. But once they receive notification, your credit score takes a hit — as much as 125 points after three missed payments. After four, the account will likely go to collections. Legal action can ensue after five, along with revoked or suspended charging privileges.

One minimum payment will stop the progression and keep you at your current delinquency level. That’s important, because being 120 days late is worse than being 90 days late.

Many consumers make the same two mistakes over and over:

They pay less than the minimum, which has no effect on delinquency and doesn’t help their situation. Or they confuse the minimum required with the total amount due. To get out of delinquency and become current, you must pay the total balance.

Delinquency is like a black eye on a credit report. But if you cover it up with positive usage, the black eye starts to fade. The best way to create a good credit history is to open a credit card and pay the balance off each month. Secured credit cards serve this purpose well because they require a refundable security deposit.

Remember, overcoming the effects of delinquency takes time and consistent, responsible credit card use. But if you use your card wisely, you can restore your good credit.

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