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Mortgage Grace Periods and Late Mortgage Payments Explained

3 min read
John Ulzheimer By John Ulzheimer Feb 27, 2014 | Updated Oct 04, 2019

It goes without saying that always making your loan payments on time is arguably the most important rule for you to follow in order to earn and then maintain great credit scores. Late payments should be avoided like the plague. However, the subject of late payments and credit reporting, especially mortgage late payments, is often misunderstood.

Here’s a look at:

  • Mortgage late payments
  • When a mortgage payment is really considered late
  • Just how late a mortgage payment has to be before that late payment is typically reported to the credit bureaus
Check out our article to see whether paying your mortgage payments with a credit card is worth it.

Grace Periods For Mortgages

  • The industry standard is that the payment due date is usually on the 1st of the month.
  • But payments are not considered past due until after the 15th of the month.

It is believed that mortgage lenders build in the standard 15-day, penalty-free grace period in order to make accommodations for the different payday schedules of their customers. It may also be possible that there are some states that prevent lenders from charging a late fee during the grace period.

Mortgages are the only loan type where the due date is really “any date between the 1st and the 15th of the month.” In fact, the majority of mortgage companies do not asses a late fee until a payment is more than 15 days past due.

Some consumers do report receiving “collection” calls from their mortgage companies if the payment is not received by the 1st of the month, so it is best to make your payment by the 1st if you wish to avoid those calls.

Note: grace periods can vary from lender to lender. You should always check with your mortgage lender to verify your exact grace period before making the assumption that it is the 15-day industry standard.

Late Payment Reporting

If you pay your mortgage 1 day late, or 16 days late for that matter, it will not result in your mortgage company reporting a late payment on your credit reports. You actually have a full 30 days after your payment due date before a lender is allowed to officially report a late payment to the credit bureaus.

If you actually pay your mortgage payment late enough for it to show up on your credit report as 30 days delinquent, then you could be in store for some severe credit score damage.  A popular credit myth is that if you miss just one payment, it really won’t hurt your credit scores.

In reality the “one late payment won’t hurt me” myth is actually one of the most harmful and dangerous credit score myths for a consumer to believe. The truth is that missing even a single due date puts you in serious jeopardy of experiencing a credit score drop – possibly a significant one.

When Should I Pay My Mortgage Payment?

Consistently paying your monthly mortgage payment deep into your 15 day grace period is very dangerous habit to form. Instead, it is best to treat your grace period more like a “get out of jail free card.” If possible, construct your budget so that you plan to pay your mortgage on the 1st of each month. Then, if an emergency arises, you can take advantage of your mortgage payment grace period if needed.

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You should pay your mortgage on the first of the month, but mortgage grace periods typically let you pay by the 15th without being penalized.

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  • I have been continually harrassed and screwed by nasty old Seterus who I believe is a co-conspirator and actual “debt collector”for Bank of America? Since Bank of America has already paid out billions in penalties, fines, and court case settlements I believe Bank of America uses this company in support of pursing wrongful foreclosures, like many of their “c0-conspirators” in most of the larger lenders. They all use fabricated, forged, phony, false and even “robosigned” documents.
    I was wrongfully foreclosed upon one property were they used a known robosignor in Michels Sjolander ( you can check it out on the Internet).
    anyone doubting all this racketeering going on should read “Chain of Title” by David Dayen and read two interesting court cased. The great state of Montana prevailed in the “Morrow Case” where even the Montana STATE AG filed an Amicus Brief. B of A immediately settled this case privately and confidentially and then had the case sealed so it could not be used against them!!!!
    Also you should read the Colorado Appeals Court case (GEORGE ET AL. v. URBAN SETTLEMENT SERVICES INC. AND BANK OF AMERICA). All this is exactly what B of A and their “co-conspirators” have done to me!!
    Also would be interesting to see how many of the states actually used the money to help people like me and all my fellow Americans and fellow Veterans. Look at old Jerry Brown and the lawsuit he lost when he tried to use all the money California got for the State!! All the lenders got billions (if not trillions) in bail out money, the national mortgage settlement, the USDOJ case against B of A for nearly $17 BILLION and the list goes on and on. Where did all this money actually GO??
    Someone needs to follow all this money as you can well bet it did NOT go to the property owners.
    They all seem to have participated in the phony scheme that all the lenders created in the phony use of MERS naming that entity as a nominee and beneficiary!!! When will someone be brave enough in government to finally put an end to this huge Ponzi Scam??? Semper Fi

  • Michelle’s Everyday Life

    Oh okay thank you

  • Octavio

    Your landlord is most likely trying to place the “blame” on the bank for him enforcing the rent due date. Most likely in order to conserve your relationship. At the end of the day, if your lease says you’re supposed to pay on the 1st, you pay on the first or should be subjected to a late charge. This is not personal, just business. It shouldn’t matter wether he has a mortgage to pay or if he owns the place outright.