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How to Fix Bad Credit from Late Payments: A Comprehensive Guide

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Bad credit can be a major roadblock to achieving financial goals.Late payments can hinder your ability to obtain loans, secure credit card approvals, and even impact your rental applications. It is among the primary reasons for poor credit scores.If you’re grappling with a low credit score due to negative items on your credit report, you’re not alone. Numerous individuals encounter this hurdle, yet the encouraging news is that there exist effective strategies to enhance your creditworthiness. This guide will offer practical steps you can take to fix bad credit and help you get back on track. And remember, if you need professional assistance, Cent Savvy Credit Repair Counseling is here to help.

The Impact of Late Payments on Your Credit Score

Late payments have a notable impact on your credit score. Each missed payment is reported to major credit bureaus such as Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. This negative information stays on your credit report for up to seven years, affecting your creditworthiness. Here’s how late payments impact your score:

  • 30 Days Late: A single late payment can drop your score by 60 to 110 points.

  • 60 Days Late: The impact increases, and multiple late payments can cause even more damage.

  • 90 Days or More: The more time that passes without payment, the more significantly it will harm your credit score.

Credit scoring models like FICO and VantageScore weigh late payments heavily. Payment history constitutes 35% of your FICO score, making it the most significant factor. Hence, making payments on time is essential for keeping your credit score in good standing.

1. Assess Your Current Credit Situation

Begin by acquiring duplicates of your credit reports from the three major credit bureaus. You have the right to request one complimentary report from each bureau annually through Review these reports for accuracy and identify all instances of late payments.

2. Dispute Inaccurate Information

If you discover any inaccuracies or discrepancies in your credit report, it’s essential to dispute them immediately. You can initiate disputes through online platforms, mail, or by phone. Upon receipt of your dispute, the credit bureau is obligated to investigate and respond within 30 days.

3. Negotiate with Creditors

Contact your creditors to negotiate the removal of late payments. Describe your circumstances and ask for a goodwill adjustment, particularly if you have a good payment history before the late payment.Some creditors might consider removing the adverse mark as a gesture of goodwill.

4. Create a Payment Plan

Develop a payment plan to ensure you make future payments on time. Establish reminders, automate payments, or utilize budgeting applications to manage payment deadlines effectively. Staying organized will prevent future late payments and help improve your credit score over time.

5. Consider Debt Consolidation

If you're managing multiple debts, consolidating your loans with a lower interest rate can simplify your payment process and reduce the risk of missing future payments.

6. Work with a Credit Repair Service

If managing the process on your own feels overwhelming, consider working with a credit repair service like Cent Savvy Credit Repair Counseling. They can assist you in navigating disputes and negotiating with creditors and provide personalized advice to improve your credit score.

1. Build a Positive Payment History

Regularly making payments on time is key to boosting your credit score. Consider automating payments or setting calendar reminders to stay on top of due dates and avoid missed payments.

2. Reduce Credit Card Balances

Having high balances on your credit cards can adversely affect your credit utilization ratio, a critical component that comprises 30% of your FICO score. It's advisable to maintain your credit utilization below 30%. By reducing your balances, you can substantially enhance your credit score.

3. Avoid Opening New Credit Accounts

When you apply for new credit accounts, it can lead to hard inquiries on your credit report, which have a temporary impact on lowering your credit score. Additionally, new accounts reduce the average age of your credit history. Only initiate new accounts when essential and prioritize on maintaining your existing accounts.

4. Maintain a Mix of Credit Types

Having a variety of credit types, like credit cards, installment loans, and mortgages, can enhance your credit score positively. However, it's important not to open new accounts solely to diversify your credit portfolio. Only pursue additional credit when it serves your specific financial objectives.

5. Monitor Your Credit Regularly

Consistently monitoring your credit is essential for staying informed about your financial progress and detecting any inaccuracies promptly. Utilize no-cost credit monitoring services to monitor updates to your credit report and score effectively.

1. Bankruptcy and Its Impact

Filing for bankruptcy has a severe and long-lasting impact on your credit score. It has the potential to stay on your credit report for up to 10 years. If you’re considering bankruptcy, consult with a financial advisor or seek guidance from a credit counselor to explore all available options.

2. Foreclosure and Repossession

Foreclosure and repossession also have significant negative effects on your credit score. Like bankruptcy, these marks can stay on your credit report for seven years. If you’re at risk of foreclosure or repossession, seek professional advice to understand your options.

3. Seek Professional Help

For severe credit issues, professional help can be invaluable. Cent Savvy Credit Repair Counseling offers expert guidance to help you navigate complex credit problems and work towards rebuilding your credit.

The Importance of Financial Education

Take the initiative to learn about how credit scores operate and the factors that impact them. This understanding will equip you to make well-informed financial decisions that positively impact your credit score.

Creating and sticking to a budget is essential for effectively managing your finances. A well-planned budget helps ensure you have enough funds to manage your finances effectively, encompassing your expenses and debt obligations.

Having an emergency fund can prevent you from missing payments during unexpected financial challenges. It's advisable to aim for saving an amount equal to an amount equivalent to three to six months' worth of living expenses in an easily accessible account.


Fixing bad credit from late payments requires time, patience, and a strategic approach. By comprehending how late payments affect your financial standing, and proactively taking steps to address them, and implementing long-term credit improvement strategies, you can rebuild your credit score and achieve financial stability.

Remember, you don't have to tackle this challenge by yourself; there are experts available to support you through every stage of the process. If you need assistance in increasing your credit score, visit Cent Savvy Credit Repair Counseling for expert advice and support. Seize control of your financial future today and embark on the path to achieving a stronger credit score.


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