Clark Howard

How Long Will It Take for My Credit Score To Go Up if I Missed a Payment?

Missing a payment on your credit card bill can have disastrous effects on your finances, but if you get back on track, you can recover, says money expert Clark Howard.

A recent listener to the Clark Howard Podcast shared that he had excellent credit but was late paying his Macy's credit card and his credit score plummeted 150 points.

Missed a Credit Card Payment? Read This

"What happens is, you can pay over and over again, and you can have a single oops – and it can really hurt your credit score," Clark says.

If that has happened to you, you may be wondering how long it will take for your credit score to recover.

In this article, we'll cover what happens to your credit score if you miss a payment. To put it succinctly, there's bad news, but also good news, according to Clark.

First the bad news:

What Happens To My Credit Score if I Miss a Payment?

According to, making on-time payments is the biggest factor affecting your credit score. That means that if you miss a payment, your credit score is going to go down. Here's the breakdown:

Payment History: How often you pay your creditors on time.35%
Amounts Owed: Total amount you owe all your creditors.30%
Length of Credit History: How long your credit has been established.15%
Credit Mix: How many different types of credit you have.10%
New Credit: Any credit lines you opened within the last two years.10%

With a lower credit score, you’ll typically see the following effects:

  • Decreased borrowing power.
  • Higher interest rates.
  • The possibility of being denied loans.

For new services you apply for, you may also be asked to pay upfront rather than qualify for a waived entry fee.

Now the good news:

Your Credit Score Can Recover After a Missed Payment

"The good news is that that hurt doesn't last exceedingly long, even though the one late payment can show on your report for a long time, the impact on your credit score softens steadily and it should only be a devastating event in the short term," Clark says.

Admittedly, there’s no way around the fact that the timing of a credit score drop can ruin your chances of getting a great interest rate when you’re applying for a loan, Clark says.

"If you're in the next six months about to apply for a mortgage or car loan, in that case, it is devastating," he says, referring to a credit score plunge due to missing a payment. But Clark says sometime after those six months, you should see your credit score begin to rise.

Final Thoughts: A Solution

One solution to never having to worry whether you've paid your credit card bill is to set up automatic payments.

“Your credit score will heal over time, but the big thing is to avoid the problem in the first place,” Clark says.

“What I recommend with any credit card is to set up automatic payments, at least for the minimum amount due in a month. That way you know that at least the minimum gets paid and you stay in good standing with your credit card company and your credit score stays rock solid.”

The post How Long Will It Take for My Credit Score To Go Up if I Missed a Payment? appeared first on Clark Howard.

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