How bad is it to miss a mortgage payment? More than you may realize. You may believe that missing a mortgage payment simply means you are paying at a later date, but depending on who you are borrowing from, the consequences can be far and wide. But first off, what does late actually mean? Well, it would typically mean paying past the grace period, which is generally the 16th of the month if you did not pay on the 1st of the same month. The extra two weeks are meant for emergencies, but should you pass that lifeline, that is counted as late. Note that this grace period may differ from one lender to another, so always check!
With that said, here are the possible consequences you will face if you are late with or miss a payment:
If you make any payments past the grace period, there will generally be a late fee charged to you. The fee amount will generally depend on the terms of the loan. If you are taking out a mortgage, this fee will typically be a percentage of the principal and interest rate you need to pay for that month. For example, if you had to pay $500 for that month, a 5% late fee would mean you are paying $25 extra, totaling it up to $525 for that month. This may not seem like much, but it can pile up to a significant amount if you make late payments often.
Much like fees, the foreclosure you may face will be dependent on the terms of the loan. For instance, some may only allow you to miss only one payment, while others will be a little more lenient. This is because foreclosures are expensive, not only for you but for the lenders, too. In most cases, it would be better for them to give you more time to pay back rather than dealing with the loss, but you should not count on it as well. If you are facing issues with paying, communication is key to let the lenders know of the problem. You can go into forbearance instead, which allows you to pause your mortgage temporarily and get some help.
Apart from the fees and possible foreclosure, another consequence you will face is a hit on your credit score. How much it drops, however, will depend on what score you have at the moment. If you have an already low score, the decrease will be much smaller than if you had a high score. In addition to that, the missed or late payment will be recorded into your credit history for the next few years. Fortunately, if this is one incident, you should be able to recover from the problem quickly. If it happens continuously, then it will become an issue that is tougher to repair.
In summary, a late or missed payment is never a good thing for you. Not only can it hurt your credit score, but it can cost you more money in terms of late fees and foreclosures. As such, when you want to borrow some money, always make sure that you can afford the monthly payments and read the terms of the agreement carefully. This will help you stay out of trouble, keeping your relationship between you and the lender positive, and possibly secure better loans in the future.
Halpern & Associates is a mortgage broker in Miami Beach offering conventional, FHA, VA, jumbo, and many more types of loans to help individuals secure the loans they need. Work with us today!