Phone lines open today until 7pm
01254 956777
How It Works Apply Now

Can you get car finance if you’ve made late payments?

Can you get car finance if you’ve made late payments?

It’s that not unusual for a late payment to happen during the course of your life – in fact, you might not even think it’s a big deal. But while a creditor won’t show up at your door simply because your payment is late, it can have a bigger effect than you may realise.

What is a late payment?

Usually, when you set up an account with a company – for a service or credit – you have to make monthly payments on a set date. If the amount you need to pay arrives after the agreed date or, in some cases, after the grace period has passed, it’ll be deemed late.

There can be many reasons for making a late payment, from simply forgetting to more serious reasons, such as financial difficulties.

How does a late payment affect my credit score?

While you may not worry too much about a missed payment, especially if you’ve paid it as soon as you’ve realised, it will affect your credit score.

Credit Score

Your credit report is there to show how well you have managed your finances and how reliable you are at paying back credit. While the odd late payment, particularly if the rest of your accounts are in good standing, may not impact your score too much, do it too often, and it can have a negative effect.

The higher the frequency and severity of late payments, the larger its impact on your score. And, late payments do remain on your report for up to six years.

How does a late payment affect my ability to get a car loan?

Your credit report is important to lenders when deciding on your application for a car loan. So if your late payments have affected your credit score, it’s likely that it could affect your chances of being approved or accessing the best interest rates too.

However, every lender is different and has its own set of eligibility criteria. Some may take evidence of late payments more seriously, as it could indicate you’re not managing your finances well.

Lady on Computer

How recent the late payments are will also affect how negatively the lender views them. If you’ve missed any payments in the last three months, it’ll look worse than if the late payments were from four years ago.

When it comes to car finance, it’s always better to have a good credit score, so if a late payment has taken your score down – even a little – it’s worth spending some time trying to improve it, as it could take you under what the lender deems acceptable for a score.

How long do late payments stay on my credit report?

A late payment can be noted on your credit report as soon as the day after the payment was missed. After that, late payments stay on your credit report for six years or, if you’ve closed the account, six years following that.

The impact of late payments on your credit score, though, will lessen over time if you continue to make payments on time and keep all of your other accounts in good standing.

Can I remove a late payment from my credit report?

Late payments can happen for a variety of reasons. Still, if you feel if it was due to a circumstance beyond your control, such as redundancy or another payment being taken out of your account before it should have been, you could ask the company to add a notice of correction to your credit report.

If you think a late payment has been noted in error, get in touch with a credit reference agency who will then investigate it and remove it if it’s wrong. In the UK, these are Experian, Equifax and TransUnion.

If it hasn’t been made in error, there are other steps you can take, though, to boost your score and balance out the missed payment.

How can I deal with a late payment?

It would help if you dealt with a late payment as soon as possible. If you can pay it, do so along with any interest or fees that have been added. If it’s inescapable, and you know it will be late, contact the company straight away and see if they can help arrange a temporary solution.

If you can’t pay, it’s important not to ignore the problem. One late payment may not make too much of a dent in your credit score, but if the account is not brought up to date, it can lead to arrears or even a default, which could have a severe impact on your credit score.

Of course, sometimes it’s simply unavoidable for one reason or another, but a late payment on your credit report isn’t the end of the world. There are steps you can take to boost your credit score and get back on track.

Find out how to improve your credit score here:

Once a late payment has been made, it’s important to keep on top of payments in the future to ensure you don’t damage your credit score any further.

It’s a good idea to automate payments or schedule reminders for when they’re due.

Find out how long the payments take to reach your lender, too, as some will take longer than a day. If you’ve missed a payment due to stretched finances, if possible, start to save a little money for a bit of breathing room in your budget.

How does Hippo Motor Finance deal with late payments?

Life can be unpredictable, and we understand that sometimes finances aren’t all smooth running. If you’re worried that late payments in the past could have impacted your credit score, check your report and see what can be done.

Man with new car

Poor credit doesn’t mean that you won’t find the right car finance deal for you, and we can help. We specialise in helping those with lower credit scores to secure finance and get on the road. Using our free soft credit search tool, you can find out if you’re eligible.

If you need to discuss your situation further or need some advice on getting the right new, nearly new or used car on finance, contact our team, and we’ll be happy to help.

Representative Example of Credit

We expect more than 51% of our customers to achieve this rate.

Loan Amount Total Cost of Credit Representative APR 60 Monthly Payments Deposit Amount Loan Term Total Amount Payable
£7,500 £3831 19.1% APR £188.85 £0 60 Months £11,331

All offers are subject to change at any time, you must be 18 or over and finance is subject to status, vehicle availability and terms and conditions apply. We can introduce you to a limited number of finance companies, a commission may be received. Failure to maintain payments may result in termination of your agreement and the vehicle being returned, this could affect your credit rating and make it more difficult to obtain credit in the future. All prices correct at time of publication.

We purchase a wide variety of vehicles from all over the country to ensure the best quality and value for our customers, all of our cars go through a thorough inspection process and if they do not meet our standards we do not sell them. We endeavour to inform our customers (where possible) the provenance of the vehicle they are buying and as such we will always inform you if the vehicle has previously been either an ex fleet or hire car. Should your vehicle be an ex hire/fleet car please do not be concerned as we would never value this vehicle differently when you come to part exchange it and there is no difference to the CAP valuation either.

You should try and estimate the distance you will travel as accurately as possible to try and avoid excess mileage charges at the end of your contract.

All pictures and/or photos and car descriptions on this site are for illustration and reference purposes only and are not necessarily the vehicle on offer. All offers are subject to change at any time and are subject to finance approval and vehicle availability. All prices correct at time of publication. E & OE.

Hippo Vehicle Solutions t/a Hippo Motor Finance is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. FRN 658076. We are a Credit Broker not a Lender and can introduce you to a limited number of lenders. Subject to status and to UK residents only (excl. the Channel Islands). Individuals must be 18 or over. Guarantees and indemnities may be required. We typically receive a fixed commission calculated by reference to the vehicle model, product or amount you borrow, for introducing you to a lender but this does not affect the interest charged on the agreement, all of which are set by the lender. Images for illustrative purposes only. Hippo Vehicle Solutions t/a Hippo Motor Finance is an Appointed Representative of AutoProtect (MBI) Limited for insurance distribution purposes. AutoProtect (MBI) Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Its firm reference number is 312143. You can check this at

We endeavour to ensure that all information including the specifications and finance availability are accurate. Whilst we make every effort to display correct information we are aware that errors may occur occasionally. We are not able, therefore, to guarantee the accuracy of all information especially when given to us by third parties. If you do require clarification of some information you have seen on our website, please email us at . This does not affect your statutory rights.

We are a broker not a lender and our registered office is Unit 26 Trident Park, Trident Way, Blackburn, BB13NU.