In this section, we’ll cover the main questions we receive about mortgages and payments. Mortgages are a good thing to understand, even if you already own a home, you could be looking for answers to one or more of these questions and topics. Understanding your mortgage will help you understand your options when it comes to refinancing, getting a new loan, or selling a current home to repay an existing mortgage.

When is a mortgage payment considered late?

If you become a day late on your mortgage, the lender gets a notification, and you will receive a letter. However, there is a grace period typically of 15 days before the mortgage company will add late fees to the payment. Say an additional 15 days pass (30 days in total), at this point, the lender is allowed to officially notify the credit bureaus that you have not paid your mortgage payment. It will show up on your credit report. According to FICO‘s research, it can take up to 3 years to recover from a 30-day late mortgage payment. That number goes up to 7 years when it’s 90 days late. Here are four ways from Credit Karma to avoid late fees.

  1. Sign up for autopay
  2. Set up reminders
  3. Make weekly payments
  4. Call your lender (ask for them to waive late penalties in good faith.)

What is the fee for late mortgage payment?

A 5 percent late fee is added every 30 days for six months adds up to 30 percent of a home’s payment. If you know your payment is going to be late, include the late fee in your amount for the current month. Pay off late fees as soon as possible. To avoid late fees, consider negotiating a different payment due date with your lender.

Days late

What happens?


Your grace period kicks in.


You’re charged a late fee.


Your servicer reports the late payment to the credit bureaus.


Your servicer assigns a representative to work with you on foreclosure prevention.


You’re charged a second late fee.


Your servicer sends you a demand letter, giving you 30 days to catch up. You’re charged a third late fee.


The foreclosure process typically begins, though it could start sooner.

That 90-120 day window is when it’s most dangerous. It is when homeowners start to evaluate liquidating their assets and starting over. Selling a home that is being 90-120 days on the mortgage could be a good option if you don’t have a plan for repayment. The alternative is to lose eve

Can I refinance a mortgage with bad credit and late payments?

Typically it is not easy to take on a refinance with bad credit and late payments because the lender sees this, and the odds of repayment do not look favorable. You could always apply with a co-applicant (even if they do not live there). The downside to this is they would have financial responsibility if you did not successfully make the payments. If you’re looking to do a cash-out refinance, you will typically need a credit score of 620+. If you’re able to complete a cash-out refinance, you could take some of the funds to pay down existing debts to boost your credit score. 

How to remove late mortgage payments from credit report?

Just ask: The most straightforward approach is to ask your lender to take the late payment off your credit report. That should remove the information at the source so that it won’t come back later. You can request the change in two ways: Call your lender on the phone and ask to have the late payment deleted.

Write a letter of explanation for late payments to the mortgage company.

Late payments on mortgages happen, and lenders are most willing to work with you when you’re upfront. Letting them know your plan of action for repayment through a letter early on is always the best practice. They will want to work with you, and you have a much better chance of making a successful go-forward plan.