A Good Credit Record and Why You Should Have One
That's because your payment history on your debts and bills is one of the biggest factors in your credit report and credit score. A credit report is a compilation of how you pay your credit card bill, loans, rent, and selected other debts and bills. A credit score is a number that is based on your credit report and reflects your financial responsibility. Both are part of your overall credit history, which can determine your chances for a low-cost loan or a lower interest rate on a credit card.
While one or two late payments over a long period of time may not significantly damage your credit history, if at all, making a habit of missing payments can result in a higher interest rate, higher fees or both when you apply for any type of loan or credit card. Lenders put more emphasis on your recent payment history, so be particularly careful with payments in the months before you apply for a loan. Consumers who pay their credit card bill late may face a major hike in their interest rate -- often to between 29 and 35 percent. Late payments on that card also can trigger rate increases on other cards or loans, especially if your credit record shows other signs of risk.