Late payments do affect your credit rating but what most consumers don't know is that it also depends on how late your payment is made to the creditor. To start with, late payments that are made to creditors but are no later than 30 days late are not reported to the credit bureaus. So for instance, you have a credit card payment that is due on the 1st of January and you are not able to make the payment until the 27th of January.
This is considered late with the credit card company but will not show up on your credit report as a late payment. It will not show on your credit report until you are more than 30days late and it will show as a "1-time 30day late payment".
These types of late payments usually affect your score and can have a lasting effect for about 12 months. The same goes with other types of accounts such as car payments, mortgage payments, personal loans as well as secured loans.
Even if the payment is a couple of days late, the best thing is to try and make sure it does not go beyond the 30-day point. It is also important to note that these late payments can cause your interest rate to rise on your credit cards.
This may be the case even if you are only 1 day late as opposed to 20 days late. This will vary depending on the credit card company you are dealing with. You want to check with the your creditor to find out their exact policy.