Because payment history is the most important part of your credit scores—accounting for 35% of your FICO® Score* — making sure you don’t miss any payments is key. Once you miss a payment that exceeds 30 days, a record of that delinquency may be sent to one or more of the three major credit bureaus (Experian, TransUnion and Equifax), and the record will remain in your credit file for seven years.
Setting up automatic bill payments is easy and can help you avoid missing any payments. Autopay works like this: You give your creditor your account information, and when your payment is due, they’ll withdraw the proper amount directly from your account. Depending on the type of bill, you may also be able to use a credit card to pay. For recurring bills of the same amount, you may be able to schedule payments to be sent automatically.
In addition to potentially lowering your credit score, missing a bill payment might also cause you to incur late fees. And be careful—you could be charged these late fees for each month you don’t pay. If you catch this in time, you may be able to negotiate to have the fee waived when you pay, but being proactive and having your bills automatically paid is a better solution if you tend to miss payments.
What to watch out for
Putting your bills on payment autopilot can be helpful, but it’s important that you still keep track of your bills to make sure there are no mistakes. With automatic bill payment, it can be easy to lose track of how much you’re spending.
If you’re juggling multiple bills, it may be good to enroll in electronic alerts that will help you stay on top of your payments. Also consider getting a free credit report to see where your credit is at as you work toward improving it with autopay.
For more information about how you can improve your credit score, see the following articles:
- How budgeting can help you improve your credit score
- How can I increase my credit score?
- Will closing a credit card hurt your credit?
*FICO® is a registered trademark of Fair Isaac Corporation in the United States and other countries. Barclays and Fair Isaac are not credit repair organizations as defined under federal or state law, including the Credit Repair Organizations Act. Barclays and Fair Isaac do not provide “credit repair” services or advice or assistance regarding “rebuilding” or “improving” your credit record, credit history or credit rating. FICO and “The score lenders use” are registered trademarks of Fair Isaac Corporation in the United States and other countries.
A credit score is a 3-digit number calculated using information on a credit report that serves as a numerical representation of a person’s creditworthiness. A credit report is a summary of your credit activity such as the payment history and status of your credit accounts which potential lenders use to offer you credit and on what terms. Your FICO® Credit Score and key factors are based on data from third-party providers who are not affiliated with Barclays. Barclays does not guarantee the accuracy of any credit information that is provided to you by these third parties.