Credit 101

Reader Question: When do credit card companies report late payments to the credit bureaus?

Comments 5 Comments

We received an excellent question from Patrick this morning:

If I make a payment for a credit card and mail it on the due date, and
they receive it say 5 days later I know I will be charged for the late
payment. But my question is does it go on my credit report as late?  My credit report just shows 30, 60, & 90 day late history???? 

This is a great question! In all my years in the credit industry, I have never thought about the different credit card policies on reporting late payments. Patrick stumped me!

So, I called a couple credit card companies to investigate. The credit card issuers are a whole lot more lenient than I expected:

  • Capital One reports late payments after 30 days.
  • Chase reports late payments after 30 days.
  • Orchard (HSBC) Bank reports late payments after 30 days.
  • MBNA (B of A) reports late payments after 30 days.
  • Citi waits 60 days to report late payments.
  • American Express reports late payments after 60 days.
  • Discover waits 60 days to report late payments.

A five day late payment will cause you to be charged a late fee (usually $35) but it will not be reported to the credit bureaus. You’ll have to miss your payments for more than 30 or 60 days before they report you to the credit bureaus. That’s a really long time!

When he got my email response, Patrick said: "I hope I don’t start something here with people holding off on mailing in there payments promptly." I agree! Making your payments on time is still very important and $35 is a pretty big fee for paying late. Keep in mind that your creditors still track your payment records and could base their decisions about your rates and credit limits on late payments under 30 days.

Next question? Post your question in the comments section below!

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  • C.R.

    Can my spouse help raise his credit score by being listed as a user on my credit card?

  • Anonymous

    Today I just got my credit reports from all three agencies. I just began building credit 34 months ago (car loan + credit cards). For how many months do the credit agencies report my payments on loans and credit cards? For example, I have a car loan for 60 months. Will the report show all 60 months of payment and will my credit card payment history go on until I close it out…say seven or thirty years from now?

  • Anonymous

    Chase reports late payments even if they are 1 day late (though they might tell you 30 days if you call them on the phone). I was 8 days late because I thought I had scheduled a payment but hadn’t. As soon as I received my next statement and realized my mistake I paid $2400 (the minimum was $25 and I had about $3500 on the card). Despite this Chase reported my late payment to the credit agencies and sent me a letter stating that they are raising my rates to 23.99%. I am closing my credit card account with them and will never use Chase or any of it’s affiliates again. They lied to me and told me that they are legally required to report late payments and that it is impossible to remove anything reported to a credit agency which I know is not true (about 8 years ago I missed a medical bill, as soon as I realized this and paid the medical bill my bad credit history was cleared).

  • mary benson

    I am disputing the late fees charged because the credit card company (a bank that is affiliated with a department store) took very long to send me the first bill. That bill included a late charge. I have paid for my purchases, but I refuse to pay the late fees.

    Can a credit card company file a report to the credit agencies when all that is outstanding in my account is late fees?

    With whom can I file a complaint about the bank’s practice?

  • Gary Benson

    Discover reported my late payment which was only 2 days late!

    American Express never reported my late payment that was a month late. They even sent a letter saying that they will not report the late payment.

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