How To Handle Your Overdue Accounts

Maybe you missed a credit card payment or you forgot about a utility bill deadline. Either way, you now have an overdue account. These late payments can quickly spiral out of control if you’re not careful. 

If you’ve fallen behind on debt repayments and the overdue account letters and collection calls are causing you stress, Debt Busters can help. Let us help get your overdue payments under control.

The more past due your account becomes, the fewer chances you have to catch up. Sometimes it can feel like there are no options, but it doesn’t have to be that way. 

From negotiation and consolidation to a formal debt agreement, Debt Busters provides the advice and support you need to move forward with your outstanding payments.

What Is an Overdue Account?

As soon as you miss a payment, the account is considered past due or overdue. Even if you’re only a few days late, this is technically considered an overdue payment. However, if your account is only a little bit past due, you’re unlikely to face any intimidating collection efforts.

Technically speaking, any unpaid financial arrangements become overdue one business day after their due date. If you pay this quickly, the most you’ll have to deal with will likely just be a late fee.

However, if you don’t pay the past due balance, you could experience any of the following:

  • Phone calls from your creditor or service provider
  • Past due letter in the mail
  • Discontinued service (in the case of utilities)
  • Negative impact on your credit score
  • Legal action


Because the situation will only escalate, especially if your past due account is overdue by more than 90 days, it’s important to take action as soon as possible. Debt Busters can help you determine the next steps to take if you’re facing an overdue account.

Understanding Overdue vs Outstanding vs Default

There’s a lot of confusion over the meaning of the terms surrounding late payments. Understanding the difference between overdue, outstanding, and default will help you know your exact standing with your debtors.

  • Overdue – Another way to say overdue is “past due.” As such, this refers to any payment that is late. This is when you’re likely to experience penalties, though it’s not yet as extreme as a default.
  • Outstanding – When you receive a bill, you initially have a period of time to pay it. This period is typically 30 days. Until you reach this deadline or pay the bill, the amount is considered outstanding. It hasn’t been paid yet, but there is still time until the due date.
  • Default – Any payment that is later than 60 days is in default. This means it will begin to negatively impact your credit score. It’s always best to take care of your overdue payments before reaching this point, if possible.


Does an Overdue Account Show on Your Credit Report?

The way late payments show on your credit report depends on your lender as well as just how late your payment is. There is usually a grace period with most lenders before the overdue account will affect your credit score. This is usually between 14 days and 60 days.

Once your account is past this grace period, your overdue payment will be listed on your credit report as a “late payment.” Having only one late payment on your credit report is unlikely to impact your credit score. However, having a large number is a poor sign to prospective lenders, and it could impact your rating.

Defaults, as we mentioned before, occur after an account is overdue 60 days. This has a serious impact on your credit score, and it will be listed on your report. It takes 5 years before a default is removed from your credit report, whereas a late payment will take 2 years.

First-Aid Tips for Overdue Accounts

What do you do if you currently have an overdue account? While the best thing is to have a plan of action while the balance is still outstanding and not yet overdue, you still have options.

Here’s how to deal with past due accounts:

  • Pay the outstanding payments – The fastest way to get back on track is to make a lump-sum payment to cover any outstanding payments, preferably before they’re overdue. It is still wise to pay once they’re overdue, if you can, but there might be additional late fees and interest depending on how late your payment is.
  • Contact your lender – If you know you’re unable to afford a payment, it’s best to call your lender directly. If you’ve had a good payment history, they might allow you a deadline extension or waive late fees.
  • Apply for multiple payments – Utility providers, banks, and credit card lenders usually all have some type of help department for those unable to afford their payments. Contacting this department and applying for assistance could allow more payment flexibility.
  • Consolidate your debt – If you’re unable to afford your past-due amount, it might be a good idea to consolidate with a balance transfer. Just make sure you have a plan for repayment so you don’t simply add more credit to your existing situation.
  • Settle your account – Some creditors will allow settlement plans. This is when you offer a lower lump sum payment to satisfy the account.


Because there are a number of options available, it’s important to know what you’re getting yourself into. A debt specialist from Debt Busters can help you navigate your repayment process with ease.

Know When to Ask for Help

Because acting fast is the best way to handle an overdue account, don’t be afraid to reach out for help when you need it. Our recommendation will depend on your specific situation and can be as simple as putting together a weekly budget or as complex as creating a debt agreement.

We understand that everyone is different so we’ll take the time to get to know you and understand your challenges. Once we’ve figured out your challenges, we’ll put together a plan that will help you take back control of your finances and your future.

We’ll talk you through all your options, and provide you with a solution that can help free you from debt once and for all.

Get your overdue accounts and payments under control today. Speak to a member of our team now for further expert advice.