stack of credit cards

You don’t necessarily need to panic the very first time you miss a monthly credit card payment. Most banks and issuers don’t report a newly delinquent customer immediately to the major credit bureaus, especially if the missed payment is out of character.

Here’s a rundown on how the major banks and credit card issuers will handle your first missed payment.

The lag time can spare a customer who inadvertently missed a bill a big blemish on their credit report. Missing a credit card payment can cause a person’s credit score to drop by 100 points or more, especially if it was high to begin with.

Of course, reporting policies vary by financial institution so it’s always a good idea to ask your issuer how a first missed payment will be handled before you actually skip one. Here’s a rundown on how the major banks and credit card issuers handle their customers’ first missed payments.


Chase defines a delinquent account as an account that is 60 days from the bill date. As such, the bank reports delinquent accounts 61 days past the first missed payment’s billing date.

Capital One

The bank only reports an account as delinquent if it is at least 30 days past due, so customers are essentially given one billing cycle to make good.The bank says it may also choose to waive the $25 first missed payment fee for good customers or one-time offenders.

Bank of America®

An account that falls one payment past due is not reported to the credit bureaus.  Instead, the delinquency is reported once the customer misses two consecutive payments.

American Express

Amex generally does not report a first missed payment to the credit bureaus. Cardholders need to pay their next bill by the next due date in order to avoid having the account reported as delinquent.


A spokeswoman for Discover says the issuer’s policy is that it may report any missed payments to the credit bureaus.

Wells Fargo

Customers have at least 25 days to make their payment once a billing cycle closes. If they don’t meet this timeframe, the account will accrue interest as outlined in the terms and conditions of their credit card agreement. The missed payment is not reported to the credit bureaus until the account is 30 days delinquent.

A Wells Fargo spokesperson says customers who miss payments due to financial hardship should contact the bank as soon as possible. Depending on the nature of the hardship, they may be willing to work with the customer as they try to catch up on their payments.

Remember, these policies typically only apply to a first missed payment by previously reliable customers. Cardholders who miss a payment, shore up their account, then miss a payment again, should expect to see an effect on their credit score.

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  • This is so helpful! Thanks for doing the legwork and finding this info. So often we think that just being a few days late is bad news, but, while a bad habit to keep up, at least it won’t damage your credit.

    • Alex Matjanec

      Glad you enjoyed the article!

  • Anonymouse

    Haha Chase may not report you but they hike up your interest rate dramatically (mine was 10%) AND they don’t send you alerts. I have extremely good credit…which is why I cancelled my card with them, haha.

  • Ohmejoan1

    My sister has been a Wells Fargo customer for 18 years.  She never missed a payment and had a great credit rating.  She is behind on her credit card payments as her husband lost his job and she can no longer afford the monthly payment as the interest rates are soooo high.  I had her call Wells Fargo this morning and I listed on the extension.  I have to say the treatment she received for the Wells Fargo representative was nothing short of disgraceful.  Talk about zero help in getting caught up.  What my sister was told was that they were taking legal action against here and that was it.  I could not believe it as the representative has absolutely no interest in anything my sister had to say.  UNBELIEVEABLE – who would want to bank with this bank?

  • Reggie Macaraeg

    When my mom left the country for a few months, she left me the responsibility of paying the bills while she was away. Unfortunately, I missed one of the two bill she needed me to pay for this month and it’s late for about a week. I managed to find the bill, which is for Bank of America, and send it, but I am afraid what it could do to my mom’s account and credit score…

    Any ideas what could happen and what I can do, especially since she is not around to help me?

    • Reggie, your mother’s credit score should be fine. A missed payment usually isn’t reported unless it is at least 30 days late (note: this may vary from lender to lender).

      However, you may see a late payment fee on the next statement.