All debts become delinquent or overdue the day after a payment is not made. Many lenders offer grace periods that may range from 5 days to as many as 30 days. However, these grace periods DO NOT not mean the debt is not delinquent or overdue, it simple means the lender has agreed to wait a certain number of days before taking any action.
Check the fine print! Most credit contracts that include grace periods continue to charge interest during the grace period and, in many cases, at the highest interest rate allowed by law. Quite often lenders will use your use of the grace period as an excuse to raise your interest rate. Keep in mind that many lenders will charge an additional fee (usually called a late fee) and that your payment is applied toward the late fee first, then toward the outstanding or unpaid interest, then toward the current interest and finally (if there is anything left) toward the outstanding balance.
In most cases, the delinquent date and the date the statute of limitations to collect the debt begin running are the same day. This is also the date that should be reported to credit reporting agencies and credit bureaus.
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