Missing a payment is likely to bring down your credit score and could affect your ability to borrow in the future, so it’s best to rectify the situation as soon as possible.
If you forgot to pay
Make the payment as soon as possible - it will still show up on your credit report but it should reflect better on you that you made the payment eventually.
It’s worth setting a reminder for future payments to avoid paying potential interest and penalty fees. Set the reminder a few days before the payment is due to give you plenty of time. Or you could set up a standing order so that paying is one less thing to worry about (this is only sensible if you’re confident you’ll have enough money in your account to make the payment. If not, you risk eating into your overdraft and being charged by the bank).
If you’re struggling to pay
Can’t afford to make your repayments? This is pretty common and you’re not alone. We’ve written a quick article that explains how to take back control of your finances - it’s never too late to start. Just watch out that your missed payments don’t spiral into debt that you can’t handle.
If there’s a chance you’ll miss another payment, we’d suggest talking to your lender before this happens. Whether you’re struggling with your repayments or just want a better rate, there’s no harm in asking them for advice. They might be able to put your on an affordable repayment plan, or offer you a better rate - especially if you're planning on moving several debts over to one lender. Don’t forget: if you don’t ask you won’t get.
If you’ve got unmanageable debt
The fact you’ve acknowledged your situation is a great start. The trick is to tackle your debts one by one without overwhelming yourself. Make yourself a drink and have a read of our top tips for getting your debts in check this year.
Remember there’s always someone to talk to if you’re finding your debt too much to handle. Charities like the Money Advice Service and StepChange can give you free, expert advice on your debts. Don’t worry about them being judgmental, they’ve helped countless other people in your situation and offering friendly guidance is their job.
You can find out more about what help is out there for dealing with your debt here.