For Arizona consumers trying to build, rebuild, or maintain good credit, here’s a rundown of how late payments affect credit scores.

Most Arizona consumers know that late payments are bad for credit scores – but how bad? For instance, say you accidentally forgot a due date, and made a credit card payment a week late. Would this relatively minor mistake tank your credit score? There is a good chance that it won’t, but it might. It all depends on your creditor. Also, negotiation is an option for consumers in Arizona who never miss payments, but experience that one minor slip-up. It’s good for all consumers to understand the actual impact that late payments might have on their credit scores. Then, in case a late payment happens, you should know how to minimize the damage.

How the Affect of Late Payments on Credit Scores in Arizona Depends on Individual Creditors

Most creditors don’t report late payments to the credit bureaus unless accounts are at least 30-days delinquent. However, creditors can report late payments even if they are just tardy by a day. Normally, creditors keep track of your payment activity. Therefore, they know whether or not Arizona consumers typically pay on time. Accordingly, those who normally pay responsibly are usually given a pass for missing one due date by a few days. Yet, if you are habitually late, there’s a good chance that your creditor will eventually report your tardiness to the credit bureaus, and your credit score will drop.

If a creditor does report a late payment to the credit bureaus, this delinquency normally stays on your credit reports for seven years. With responsible credit use and prompt payments, the credit score damage goes away pretty quickly. Yet, Arizona consumers may worry about future lenders looking at their credit reports and seeing the negative item(s).

In order to avoid a late payment blemish on their credit reports, consumers in Arizona can negotiate with creditors. Of course, they may say “no,” but it doesn’t hurt to try. Call or write to your creditor, explain your situation, and reassure them that you won’t repeat the tardiness in the future. If they value you as a customer, your creditor may agree to not report your late payment. Then, even if you still have to pay a late payment penalty fee, your credit score will go unharmed.

When Arizona Credit Scores Take Major Hits for Late Payments

Unfortunately, when creditors report late payments to the credit bureaus, Arizona credit scores can drop significantly. For example, a recent study from FICO show that credit scores can fall by 90-110 points after a consumer pays late. Also, the higher your credit score, the more points you can expect to lose.

This is why it is important to make all of your payments on time. In addition, Arizona credit card users should try to use no more than 30% of their available credit at any given time. Even if they make all of their payments on time, high utilization can cause their credit scores to drop.

How Arizonians can Protect their Credit Scores by Checking their Credit Reports

Finally, while working on building or maintaining good credit scores, consumers in Arizona should check their credit reports regularly. Even if you manage credit and payments perfectly, creditors and the credit bureaus can damage your credit reports and bring down your credit score. How? Often, these organizations mishandle and misreport consumer information. Then, their mistakes show up as credit score damaging credit report errors.

Fortunately, the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) entitles Arizona consumers to accurate credit reports. However, you must find mistakes in order to demand their removal. So, check your credit reports at least once every 12 months. Under the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA), this is how often you may request a free copy of your credit report from each of the three major credit bureaus.

Just go to to get credit reports from TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian all in one place. Then, if you find mistakes and errors on one or more of your credit reports, contact Credit Repair Lawyers of America in Arizona. This way, instead of going through the error-disputing process on your own, an experienced credit attorney will handle everything for you – for free. You’ll get clean credit reports with zero hassle, and it won’t cost you anything out of pocket – ever.

How to Get Better Credit Legally and for Free in Arizona

Don’t let errors on your credit reports bring your credit score down. At Credit Repair Lawyers of America, we’ve been cleaning up credit reports for consumers since 2008 for free. How do we do it? All of our fees come from the defendants in settled cases. This is why our clients pay nothing for the work we do.

Let’s start the conversation about what we can do for your credit. Set up your free consultation today by calling Attorney Gary Nitzkin at (480) 771-6001 or contact us on our contact page.

For more information about Free Credit Repair, please visit