This post comes from Christine DiGangi at partner site Credit.com.
From time to time, people forget to pay their credit card bills. It’s unfortunate, but it happens. Payment history has the most impact on your credit scores, so a missed payment will cause your score to drop a few points, but an isolated incident will only hurt you temporarily.
When missing payments becomes a habit, however, things get trickier. First of all, that pattern of missed payments exists on your credit report, meaning it’s going to significantly hurt your credit standing. Second, it’s going to take you longer to recover from that hit, and you have to start making your payments on time if you want to rebuild your credit.
On top of all that, you may have trouble accessing other forms of credit or fail to qualify for affordable interest rates because of your low credit score, not to mention all the late fees you have to pay on your credit card balances. (You can see how late payments are impacting your credit scores for free on Credit.com.)
In the U.S., about 1.7 percent of credit card accounts are more than 30 days past due, according to 2014 third-quarter data from Experian Intelliview. This data includes people who have let their bills go unpaid for more than 60 and 90 days, as well. In some states, the average delinquency rate is much worse.
The states with the 10 highest credit card delinquency rates in the third quarter are all in the South or Southwest.
10. Nevada. Q3 credit card delinquency rate — 1.96 percent of credit card accounts more than 30 days past due.
9. Oklahoma. Delinquency rate — 2 percent.
8. Tennessee. Delinquency rate — 2.03 percent.
7. Kentucky. Delinquency rate — 2.04 percent.
6. Georgia. Delinquency rate — 2.13 percent.