Learn How Payment History Affects Credit Scores

They say it’s all about timing, and it’s particularly true when it comes to paying for loans. The most significant factor weıghıng in your credit score is paying back your credit card and loan balances on time.

Your credit score is used by lenders and creditors to decide on offering you products including mortgages, credit cards, and auto loans. Your credit payment history is the single largest aspect that affects your credit score. 

Your payment history is a record of your payment actions on all credit accounts like your loans and credit cards. Read on to discover how your credit score is affected by your payment history.

Learn How Payment History Affects Credit Scores

How Does Payment History Affect Credit Scores?

Payment history provides an overview of how you paid your bills to lenders. Have you paid on time, skipped some payments, or were you sent to collections? 

For instance, if you often missed payments, your score decreases and you are perceived by lenders to be at greater risk.

At What Point Is a Late Payment Reported?

If you are at least 30 days past due, late payments will go on your credit reports and impact your score only. Before then, you may have to pay a late fee to your lender or card issuer, but this cannot be reported to the credit bureaus legally.

The late payment will show up in your payment history if you go past the 30-day mark. The further you go without paying, the worse your score gets. 

On the other hand, you will have a very strong payment history if you pay all your bills on time, and your score will improve. Note that credit score provides lenders with an indication of how likely your loans are to be paid back. 

This justifies why an essential element used to measure your score is your payment history. And the better your payment history, the better it could be for your credit score.

Learn How Payment History Affects Credit Scores
Image source: NFCC

Getting Smarter About Your Credit and Debt

If you are unable to pay your outstanding bills, your payment history on your credit reports will be impacted for a long time. 

Late bill payments will remain for up to seven years on the report, and accounts submitted to collections can stay for seven years as well.

It is important to develop good credit habits so that you can improve and strengthen your credit history and credit score. To better your payment habits, here are some things you can do.

Pay Your Bills On Time

Prioritize and plan your monthly payments; make sure that all your accounts are paid at least the minimum amount per month on time. Whenever feasible, try paying more than what’s due.

This helps to pay off debt more quickly, save on interest rates, and can strengthen your credit score. 

Your payment history accounts for roughly 35% of your FICO credit score, so an effective way to boost your credit score is to make payments on time.

Through automatic payments, you can benefit from getting your credit card bill paid automatically on or before the due date. Or, find online bill payments to pay your bills online easily.

Learn How Payment History Affects Credit Scores

Bring Your Accounts Current

Older negative data can have less effect on your credit score than more recent negative records. So, the longer you pay the bills on time, the better your payment history will be. 

The better it will be, therefore, for your credit score. Paying the minimum on credit accounts, such as your credit card, can help maintain your account current and in good standing.

Practice Making Payments on Loans before Taking on a New One

Find out how much the average monthly payments will be for a new loan from a lender, then transfer this balance for 3-4 months into a separate savings account. If you are able to bear this cost easily, you can afford these payments.

Also, you’ll have money in your savings by the end of the practice phase that you can use to make a down payment, reduce the sum you borrow or place into an emergency fund.

Conclusion

Your payment history is the track record of your credit accounts being paid. It is the most powerful credit factor because without it a strong payment history you cannot have a good credit score. 

For most people, it is their credit card payment history that ends up ruining their credit score. To make sure that doesn’t happen to you, don’t buy things you don’t need if you don’t have the cash for it.