QoD: You're new to credit and miss a payment on your credit card. How much will you credit score decline?

Nov 10, 2019
Question of the Day, Credit Scores, Research

Answer: 131 points (from 599 to 468)

Explanation: Your score sank 131 points. As someone who is new to credit, you have the most to lose from a missed payment. This mistake will move you from Fair to Poor and make future credit more costly or more difficult to obtain.


  • Why do you think a late payment has such a big impact on someone who is new to credit?
  • What do you think are the reasons that people make late payments on their credit card? Identify at least 3 reasons.
  • What are strategies you can develop to make sure that you don’t miss a payment on a bill?

Here's the ready-to-go slides for this Question of the Day that you can use in your classroom.

Behind the numbers (WSJ Credit Score Game; sub. required):

The financial decisions we make every day impact our credit scores, which help lenders decide whether to give us credit cards, auto loans and mortgages—and how much those loans will cost us. Some moves hurt, some moves help. Let's see how good you are at predicting the outcome.


Want to know how other actions impact your credit score? We have 6 more questions just like this one embedded in this activity: How will this affect my credit score? 

About the Author

Tim Ranzetta

Tim's saving habits started at seven when a neighbor with a broken hip gave him a dog walking job. Her recovery, which took almost a year, resulted in Tim getting to know the bank tellers quite well (and accumulating a savings account balance of over $300!). His recent entrepreneurial adventures have included driving a shredding truck, analyzing executive compensation packages for Fortune 500 companies and helping families make better college financing decisions. After volunteering in 2010 to create and teach a personal finance program at Eastside College Prep in East Palo Alto, Tim saw firsthand the impact of an engaging and activity-based curriculum, which inspired him to start a new non-profit, Next Gen Personal Finance.