Credit Building Tips

Can You Have 700 Credit Score With Late Payments?

Shaun Connell
August 11, 2023

If you missed a credit card payment, you aren't alone. According to a recent survey, nearly 60% of Americans have missed a payment at least once. If you're aiming to have excellent credit, but you forgot to pay your bill, you might be wondering: Can you have a 700 credit score with late payments?

Unfortunately, there isn't a simple answer to this question.

Solution icon If you have one more late payments on your credit report, it's going to negatively impact your credit score. How much it drops your score will depend on a number of different factors-- the higher your score starts out, the more the derogatory mark will hurt.

It is possible to rebuild your credit score when you've missed payments, but it will take time. Let's take a look at what you need to know about how missed payments impact your credit score and how you can potentially achieve a 700 credit score even when you have late payments.

Understanding How Missed Payments Impact Your Credit Score

The biggest factor that impacts your credit score is on-time payments. This means that even missing one single payment can hurt your score.

credit card for account with late payments

If your credit is otherwise pristine, a 30-day late payment can lead to your credit score dropping by as much as 100 points. On the other hand, if you miss a payment but your credit is already in pretty rough shape, it won't have as significant of an impact on your score. That being said, it can still do some damage.

When Does a Late Payment Show Up on a Credit Report?

Late payments must be at least 30 days past due before creditors can report them to the credit bureaus according to federal law.

This means that you can still avoid a late payment showing up on your credit report if you are still within the 30 day period after the due date. While you will most likely incur a late fee, you can save your credit score from a damaging drop by paying before this crucial 30-day mark.

The information that appears on your credit report is very important because it is used to calculate your credit scores. Your payment history is the most significant factor in your credit score, so you really want to avoid late payment marks showing up on your report if possible.

How Long Do Late Payments Stay on a Credit Report?

When you miss a payment, and it shows up on your credit report, it will most likely stay on your credit report for seven years. If a particular account is still open after seven years have passed, only that one late payment will be removed.

Can You Have a 700 Credit Score With Late Payments?

In general, it will be very difficult to have a 700 credit score if your report has late payments. This is particularly true if the late payment marks are new. As time goes on and you practice good credit habits, derogatory marks on your credit report are less harmful to your score.

The better your score was, to begin with, the more of a drop you will experience when a late payment appears on your report. That being said, if you started off with a perfect credit score of 850 or a near-perfect score of 800 and your score dropped by 100 points after a late payment, you could still have a 700 or higher score.

woman and man looking at late payments for credit cards

There are a number of factors that are used to calculate your credit score, including:

More than any other single factor, making your debt payments on time every single month will benefit your credit scores. Your score can be harmed substantially by just one 30-day late payment.

Things only get worse after the 30-day mark. If your payment continues to go unpaid for 60, 90, 120, 150, or 180 days, your credit score will likely be significantly damaged. At some point along the way, it will likely be sent to collections which will add additional derogatory marks to your account.

Improving Your Credit When You Have Late Payments on Your Report

Missing a credit card payment can be incredibly frustrating, particularly if you had the money to pay but simply forgot to settle the bill.

If you are aiming for a 700 credit score and you have a number of late payments on your credit report, you're going to need to try and build your credit back up over time.

Depending on how high your score was to start with and how severe your missed payment marks are, it can take months or even years to get your credit score back to what it was. However, with diligence and organization you can build your credit back up after late payments.

Let's take a look at the steps you can take to increase your credit score after you've missed one or more credit card payments.

Start By Limiting the Damage

Did you just miss a payment in the last few days? Has it been less than 30 days since the due date? You can take steps now to ensure that your credit isn't damaged by the late payment, but time is of the essence.

There are two things you can do here; you can either:

  • Make the payment immediately
  • Call the credit card issuer and inform them of your financial problems

Credit card companies are ultimately motivated to work with their customers to help them get back on schedule with their payments. They will sometimes even have hardship programs to help people that are struggling financially, even if they aren't advertised on their website.

If you have missed payments on a number of different accounts at once, it can feel like a lot to manage all of the communications with different credit card issuers. You might find that working with a non-profit credit counseling agency helps you take all the necessary steps to get back on track.

Make Your Payments On Time

Going forward, you'll want to make sure that you pay all of your credit card and debt bills on time. Even if you only focus on this and none of the other tips on this list, you'll be putting your attention toward the single most significant influence on your credit score.

Limit Your Spending

Spending within your means is an essential component of responsible credit usage. This can be difficult, particularly if you've recently dealt with a job loss, unexpected expense, or other financial hardship.

If possible, though, one of the most important things you can do is avoid getting into more debt.

Pay Down Your Debt

Your credit utilization ratio is another big factor in your credit score. This is the ratio between how much credit you have access to and how much of that credit you are using.

For example:

  • If you have $10,000 in credit available to you and you are carrying a balance of $3,000, your credit utilization ratio is 30%.

One of the ways that your score can drop after a missed payment is that a credit card issuer could choose to lower your credit limit. This increases your credit utilization ratio and negatively impacts your credit score.

Consider taking steps to chip away at your debt. There are a number of popular methods for debt repayment, including:

Get a Credit-Builder Loan or a Secured Credit Card

If your credit is seriously damaged or you have a very limited credit history, either getting a secured credit card or a credit-builder loan can help you rebuild trust with creditors.

A secured credit card requires a deposit upfront. Usually, your credit limit will be the amount of money you deposited. Since you've made this deposit, extending credit to you is much less risky to the creditor.

  • Essentially, you're handing money over to a credit card company which they then loan back to you.
  • You then make on-time payments to rebuild a positive reputation as a borrower.

A credit-builder loan is another way that you can illustrate your ability to make payments on time and borrow money responsibly.

Become an Authorized User

Another tactic you can use to build your credit back up after a missed payment is to become an authorized user on someone else's credit account. Usually, this will be a family member or a trusted friend that has a strong history of on-time payments.

Keep an Eye on Your Credit Report

Regularly checking your credit report can help you ensure that you're on track to bring your credit score back up to a healthy level. Free credit reports are available at, the only federally authorized site for receiving your credit reports.

While you usually can only get each of your credit reports for free once a year, you can get a free weekly credit report from each bureau until the end of 2023.

What Happens If I Miss a Payment?

Missing a credit card payment can be incredibly frustrating. In most cases, the worst thing you can do is avoid the issue and do nothing at all. It can be surprisingly costly to miss a payment when you consider all of the potential consequences, including:

  • Late fees
  • Potential increased penalty APR
  • Interest charged on the balance
  • Reducing your credit score

The longer your bill goes unpaid, the worse the situation gets. Let's take a look at what you should do when you realize that you didn't pay your credit card bill before the due date.

Pay at Least the Minimum Payment Due

If possible, you'll want to pay at least the minimum payment on the account ASAP. When you pay the minimum after the due date but before 30 days have passed, it likely won't show up on your credit report. This means that your credit score doesn't have to suffer directly from the missed payment.

That being said, understanding the schedules that credit card companies use to report accounts to the credit bureaus can be pretty complicated. For this reason, it's a good idea to pay as soon as possible and not wait until day 29.

Call the Credit Card Company

Once the due date has come and gone and you haven't made a payment, there will be two charges that will most likely show up on your account. The first is a late fee, and the second is interest on the balance.

If you simply made a mistake in not paying your bill, pay at least the minimum right away and then call the credit card company. You can explain to them that it was an innocent mistake.

While you're on the phone, take this opportunity to see if the late fee can be waived. You might even be able to have the interest charges removed if you can pay off the balance in full. While it doesn't hurt to ask these questions, remember that credit card companies are in no way obligated to comply.

Set Up Autopay or Notifications

Once you have cleared up your current missed payment, the next step is to make sure that it never happens again.

Many credit card companies will waive late fees on the first missed payment, but they likely won't keep granting you this privilege again and again. Since on-time payments are the most important factor in your credit score, you'll want to set up a system that ensures you never miss another payment.

One thing you can do is set up autopay. This is very convenient, but you need to make sure that there will be sufficient funds in the bank account that autopay is linked with. Otherwise, you could either end up overdrawing your bank account or having your payment rejected, which could leave you with another late payment.

Understanding the Consequences of Failing to Make Credit Card Payments

If you miss a credit card payment and are able to pay at least the minimum before the issuer reports to the credit bureau, the worst-case scenario is that you'll be stuck with a late fee and additional interest.

Once the credit card issuer has reported your late payment to the credit bureaus, you're most likely going to see your credit score drop. If you have a 30-day late payment on your credit report, it can be tempting to think it's not worth dealing with it since it's already damaged your credit.

The reality is that the situation will only continue to get worse if you ignore it. You'll keep getting additional negative marks on your credit report for every additional 30-day period that goes by.

  • The last thing you want is for your credit report to say you missed a payment by 30, 60, 90 days, and so on.

At a certain point, the credit card company will likely charge off the account and send it to a debt collector. Though this is an accounting tactic that companies use that indicates they don't expect to recoup the debt, this does not mean you aren't still responsible for paying what you owe. Instead, debt collectors will start contacting you.

Having a debt sent to collections will add another negative mark to your credit report. As you can see, the consequences of missing even one payment can really start to add up-- the best thing to do is to pay what you owe as quickly as possible.

The Benefits of Obtaining a 700 Credit Score

A credit score of 700 is considered "good" when using both the FICO and VantageScore credit scoring models. According to FICO, 16.4% of consumers had credit scores that fell within the range of 700 to 749 in 2021.

  • For people that already have a 700 credit score, it's an indication that they practice responsible borrowing habits.
  • However, by increasing their score even more they can have access to the best possible rates.

There are a number of reasons you might want to shoot for a credit score of 700 or higher. Here are some of the benefits you can expect to receive if you can improve your credit to a score of 700.

Home Loans

While there are a number of factors lenders take into account when determining whether or not you will qualify for a mortgage, a 700 credit score is good enough to buy a house with the most common loan options. You might even be able to get a jumbo loan for a pricier house with a 700 credit score.

The rates you receive with a 700 credit score will be much more appealing than if you had a lower score. This can save you a lot of money in interest over the life of the loan.

Auto Loans

You'll have a much easier time being approved for a car loan with a 700 credit score than you will with a fair or poor credit score. You'll also find that the rates are much more favorable with a 700 credit score than with lower scores.

Credit Cards

You should be able to find a wide variety of credit card options with a 700 credit score. When you're looking for new cards to apply to, you'll want to keep an eye on the required minimum credit score. Applying for new credit accounts can temporarily reduce your score by a few points, so it's a good idea to check the requirements before applying.

Personal Loans

Just like with the other loans listed here, good credit will help you get more favorable interest rates and terms. However, your rates will be even better if you can bump yourself up into the exceptional credit category.

Repairing Your Credit Can Increase Your Financial Opportunities

If you have late payments on your credit report, it can take some time to rebuild your credit score up to 700 or higher. While it is theoretically possible to have a 700 credit score with late payments, not paying your bills on time is the number one way to hurt your credit. In fact, your score can drop as much as 100 points with just one missed payment.

There is no set rule for how many points you'll lose on your credit score when you have a late payment. Ideally, you can make the payment before the credit card issuer reports it to the credit bureau in order to avoid any impact on your score. If it does show up on your credit report, you will generally experience a larger drop in your score the higher it was to start with.

Learning the ropes of the credit system can feel like a lot at first. If you already have a less-than-ideal credit report, you might feel like you're shut out from the best financial opportunities. The truth is, though, that with diligence, attention, and organization, you can work to rebuild your score over time.

Are you searching for resources to help you as you continue on your credit-building journey? If so, make sure you head over to our Credit Building Tips blog for more articles and guides.

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Written By:
Shaun Connell
Shaun Connell is a personal finance and credit expert with a passion for helping individuals eliminate debt and improve their credit. He's enjoyed writing investing and financial content for over 15 years, with expertise in real estate, debt, banking, credit, and wealth building. His work has been seen by millions on the web.

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