Life happens and sometimes you can fall behind on your bills and fall behind on your mortgage payment, either by accident or circumstance. So, what happens when your mortgage payment is late? The answer may vary from person to person depending on your financial history, the rules of your specific mortgage, and how late your payment is.

The Typical Schedule of Late Mortgage Payments

A mortgage payment that’s only a few days late may not affect your credit score. This is because most credit service providers offer a grace period where you can make a payment within 15 days of the due date without penalty. After the grace period, you may be charged late fees, which should be explained in your loan documents. However, if you miss a payment, it can negatively affect your credit score and your mortgage.

One Missed Mortgage Payment

Your mortgage servicer will likely report the late payment to the credit bureaus after 30 days late. This can hurt your credit score. In general, late payments can hurt people with higher credit scores more. If you haven’t made a payment for 36 days, your loan officer will contact you, although they may contact you sooner.

Two Late Mortgage Payments

Once you are 45 days overdue, your credit manager can assign someone to your account. They will contact you and inform you of your options. After 60 days or two late mortgage payments, a second late payment fee applies. Late payments are also reported to the credit bureaus.

Three Late Mortgage Payments

After three late payments, your credit manager may send you another letter, called a demand letter, to expedite your payment. The letter serves as notice to initiate your mortgage or deal with foreclosure proceedings. Additionally, your credit manager will report the late payment to the credit bureaus, which can cause your credit score to drop even further.

Four Late Payments

As soon as you are 120 days overdue and have not agreed to a refund with your bank, your credit service provider can start legal foreclosure proceedings. They can also add attorney fees to your balance. The loan officer’s attorney will schedule a home sale and notify you of the foreclosure date. This date varies from state to state but can be as soon as two to three months after you receive your demand letter.

The credit manager also reports the last late payment to the credit bureaus and your credit score may drop again. Any late payment can remain in your credit history for up to seven years.


Under federal mortgage law, the servicer cannot begin the foreclosure process by making or filing the first notice until you are more than 120 days past due on your loan. Enforcement will be judicial or extrajudicial, depending on state law and the circumstances. A foreclosure stays on your credit report for seven years and could prevent you from buying another home for several years.

Mortgage Forbearance

With mortgage forbearance, your loan servicer agrees to temporarily suspend your monthly mortgage payments for some time. The seizure procedure will not be initiated either. During the coronavirus pandemic, lenders may flag your mortgage account for forbearance. However, under the CARES Act, your account must be marked “current” if it was in good standing before forbearance. If your loan is government-backed, you can call your loan servicer and apply for pandemic mortgage forbearance until September 30, 2021.

How Will a Late Mortgage Payment Affect Your Credit Rating?

If you are at least 30 days behind on your mortgage payments, your credit manager will report the information to the credit bureaus. Late payment can stay on your credit reports for up to seven years, during which time it can affect your credit score. Skipping multiple payments in a row can hurt your credit score more than skipping a single payment. And multiple late payments can lead to foreclosure, which is one of the most damaging negative marks you can have on your credit.

How Much Will Mortgage Late Fees Cost?

Homeowners generally have a grace period of 15 days after the due date to make their mortgage payment. After that time, you can pay late fees for each month you miss a payment. Late payment fees are set by state law but are typically 3% to 6% of your monthly payment. If your mortgage payment is normally $1,000 and your late fee is 5%, you may have to pay an extra $50 for each month you don’t pay.

Loan Repayment Options

If you are 120 days or more behind on your mortgage payments or are about to leave a mortgage forbearance program, your loan servicer should contact you to discuss your options. Here’s how you can rehabilitate your account and avoid foreclosure:

Defer Payments – You can resume regular mortgage payments and defer late or suspended payments until the end of the loan term. This option is generally available for Fannie and Freddie sponsored loans, VA loans, FHA loans, and USDA loans.

Modify Loan Terms: The mortgage provider can agree to a loan modification, in which the term or interest rate of the loan is changed to make payments more affordable. With government-backed loans, your manager can reduce your mortgage payment by 25% or more.

Enter A Payment Schedule – You can also create a payment schedule with your loan manager if you have a conventional mortgage, FHA loan, USDA loan, or VA loan. It spreads your outstanding credit over a certain period, up to 12 months plus your regular mortgage payments. This temporarily results in higher monthly payments.

Take Over the Loan – This option allows you to repay the outstanding amount in one go. With all government-backed mortgage programs, loan servicers cannot ask you to pay your forbearance balance in one lump sum. But you can choose it if you can afford it.

Missing or late payments can have a big impact on your credit score. You need to do something fast to protect your credit score. Contact our counselors at Reb0und to learn more about your options. Call us on 800 852 5049, send us an email at, or fill out a contact form here with