Get Out of Debt Guy

I Missed a Credit Card Payment and Now Paying Fees.

Posted April 30, 2013

WRAL Reader Question

I accidently skipped a payment on my credit card so they added the late fee. Since i could not pay the late fee, from now on every month they are going to charge me a late fee.

I will never catch this up and they are gonna make a a killing off of me. Can u help?


From my perspective the bigger issue here is the fact one late fee has sent you over the edge. It leads me to believe there is more to the missed payment. Maybe the payment was just entirely unaffordable to begin with.

So the primary issue is not the late fee but the fact your account continues to be delinquent each month until you make up the missed payment. And each month you let this continue it will be reported to the credit bureau and lower your credit score.

If you could afford the regular monthly payment and wanted to get this back on track you could talk to a credit counseling program and they would be able to enroll you in a debt management program that would bring you back current with your creditor. 

But if the issue is just this one credit card and not a larger problem the monthly fee for the credit counseling program might just be more than you can afford.

If this was one accidental incident and not a continued pattern of being a month late, month after month, then I would have suggested you call the credit card customer service people and ask them to waive a one time late fee. But that's not the case here, is it?

So what we are left with is the obvious, if you can find some extra work to make some additional money you can get caught up on this debt and not only eliminate the late fee but get current again. And if that works you might want to continue and just focus on paying off the debt entirely and not carry a monthly payment anymore.

Steve Rhode
WRAL Get Out of Debt Guy

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  • albegadeep Apr 30, 2013

    May be tough love, but this article is good advice. Best way to not pay late fees on a credit card - pay it off every month. Means no interest, too.

About this Blog:

Steve Rhode has had careers in opthalmology, real estate and as the head of a nonprofit debt counseling firm. On his blog, he offers hard-won, free advice about getting out of debt, consolidation and making the right choices as you manage your money.