Effect of single "delinquency" on credit report?
May 2, 2005 8:51 AM   Subscribe

The significance of a department store reporting that one has missed a monthly payment on a purchase to the credit agencies?

Due to a glitch in a payment I made, or thought I made on the Web to Macy's Department Store (Federated Empire), Macy's reported me "payment delinquent" (or whatever it's termed). As someone with a long, excellent credit rating, should I care much about this?

PS: what insensitive, surly people work for Federated!
posted by ParisParamus to Work & Money (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Don't be late again. Pay on time for a year. A little nick like that won't harm your FICO score in any meaningful way unless you're already on the border of dropping into a lower bracket; even if that's the case, it really only matters if you're planning on buying a home in the very near future.

If you feel like you had perfect credit before, your FICO was probably in the mid-to-high 700s*. A missed payment might knock you back 20 points--but it won't matter since interest-rates-on-new-loans don't increase unless you drop waaaay down in the low 700s. Does that make sense?

* Normally I'd recommend buying a credit report to check your FICO, but they're going to be free for east coasters starting in September so you might as well save the money & wait.
posted by bcwinters at 9:21 AM on May 2, 2005

Response by poster: Well, my credit score was 100 points below the top number (either 750/850 or 650/750 and deemed "Excellent" on the credit report I rececently received.

PS: the point was the I *thought* I had paid on time; that's why this is an annoying development.
posted by ParisParamus at 9:25 AM on May 2, 2005

It's a funny thing about department stores. They are extremely anal about reporting you as quickly as they possibly can. I made a shoe purchase at the Sports Authority on 6th Avenue and 20something street in August of 2001. I applied for the SA credit card (something I rarely do, but did it to take advantage of the 10% discount). At any rate, between 9/11 and the anthrax scare, mail service in lower manhattan was monumentally screwed up for months from Sept to December 2001. As a result, I NEVER got any bills from the SA. As I had a few other things on my mind during that period, it just never occurred to me to check up on it. When I did a routine credit checkup in December of 2001 (as I do every year), I found that the Sports Authority had ALREADY written if up and submitted to the agencies.

So, I retraced my steps, documented the whole thing and submitted to the credit agencies and basically they reversed it. While these are extenuating circumstances, you might want to consider the same path. Don't bother with Macy's/Federated, but document the whole thing for the agencies and appeal to have the mark removed. You never know.

Mostly, the mark won't mean much, but as someone with a pristing credit rating myself, I can totally relate.

You might want to consider the same path
posted by psmealey at 9:42 AM on May 2, 2005

Ugh. Preview and spell check are my friends. Sadly, I neglect them frequently.
posted by psmealey at 9:44 AM on May 2, 2005

At one time, my wife returned an item to Macy's and got a credit. Macy's managed to enter it incorrectly as a debit, and after multiple letters and phone calls, it finally seemed to be straightened out. Image my suprise when the bank asked me about this "bad debt" when we were about to close on our first house!

I explained the circumstances, the loan officer seemed to think "another department store screw-up", and our loan went through.

I think that loan officers with any experience will discount a single black mark from a department store on an otherwise unsullied record. On the other hand, following psmealey's advice is probably a good idea, also.
posted by Daddio at 11:15 AM on May 2, 2005

posted by caddis at 11:33 AM on May 2, 2005

If you have otherwise good credit, it won't matter at all. Even two or three 30 day lates aren't a cause for concern if the rest of your credit is fine. A future lender may ask for a letter of explanation, but that should be it. It's well known in the lending industry (as a joke) that Sears frequently issues card holders at least one 30 day late whether or not you deserve it.
posted by deborah at 2:48 PM on May 2, 2005

Response by poster: Thanks, all--another best answer-less thread (because all the answers are great)!
posted by ParisParamus at 5:32 PM on May 2, 2005

You might want to double check the interest rate on any other revolving credit accounts you have for the next few months, just in case a creditor pulls a

Universal Default

on you.
posted by de void at 12:59 PM on May 3, 2005

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