Amount Past Due on Accounts

A denial of credit based on the amount past due on accounts can be a major sign of financial distress. It is one of the most severe credit bureau risk factors of payment history that are used to calculate your credit scores.

“Amount Past Due on Accounts” Credit Score Risk Factor Codes
Equifax 21
Experian 21
TransUnion 21
NextGen B6

One late payment can be a hardship to catch up on. Having multiple late payments with hundreds of dollars in extra minimum payments due can make it nearly impossible for most people to get caught up.

If your credit report shows this error code, then you represent one of the riskiest applicants for credit. Your credit and your finances are in a free fall.

You might be desperate for new credit so that you can catch up your other accounts. However, your credit application will likely still be denied because your lender doesn’t know the entire set of circumstances that have caused you to fall behind with so much debt.

For all your lender knows, you might have lost your job, have been living on credit cards and are now unable to make your monthly payments. They are not about to give you even more credit that will go unpaid.

Your credit scores are calculated based on several components of consumer behavior that are known to affect risk according to specific trends. Having large amounts of past due debt on accounts can be a sure sign of a hopeless situation to a lender. They know that whether you want to or not, you will be forced to throw in the towel on your debt unless you can take action before things get worse.

Interestingly, credit counseling organizations have a very valuable tool as a part of their programs. When you enroll into a debt management program, you have the possibility of having most of your credit accounts re-aged. What this means is that you can get back on track with your current creditors, avoid late fees and actually make progress on paying down your balances. The best part is that this is usually done with a lower payment and at lower interest rates. You don’t even have to catch up on arrears in most cases!

When you owe substantial amounts on overdue accounts, it is very important that you take action quickly. You may only have a matter of weeks before your creditors must charge the accounts off as bad debts and sell them to outside debt collectors. The calls you have been receiving are comparatively courteous compared to the collection calls you will receive from collection agencies. Furthermore, you lose the opportunity to restore your accounts to current status once they charge off.

Should you choose to take no action, you may only have the option of trying to protect yourself from legal action. This can include going to court to fight a judgment and trying to prevent liens, garnishment of wages and levies on your bank account. Of course, you can also spend a couple of thousand dollars to file bankruptcy, which has its own pros and cons.

Once the credit bureaus receive notification of large overdue balances on your credit accounts, you should immediately stop applying for credit. That can just make matters worse. Instead, get the help you need so that you can find out if you can avoid bankruptcy and begin restoring your credit rating.


Amount past due on accounts is credit bureau risk score reason 21. Code B6 applies to NextGen scoring products. For more information on credit scoring, see the complete list of credit score factors.

Kenneth Long
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Kenneth Long

President at Debtors Unite
Kenneth Long is President of Debtors Unite, Inc. as well as President and Vice Chairman for Vision Credit Education, Inc. He served as a regional coordinator for the North Carolina Saves campaign. Long co-founded the Wake EITC Coalition along with Family Resource Center of Raleigh.

Long is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a B.A. in Industrial Relations. He subsequently received his Certificate in Nonprofit Management from Duke University. His Certificate in Financial Planning was issued by Florida State University.

Long has achieved the Accredited Credit Counselor and Accredited Financial Counselor certifications through the Association for Financial Counseling, Planning and Education. Long originally achieved the Certified Credit Counselor designation through the National Institute for Financial Education.

In addition to years of nonprofit leadership, Long has been an innovator in the field of volunteer tax return preparation programs. He assists volunteer associations and nonprofit organizations who seek to integrate credit counseling and asset-building programs with free personal income tax preparation. His approach to using free credit reports as both an incentive and a screening tool for placement into asset-building programs has been shared with members of the National Community Tax Coalition, the EITC-Carolinas Initiative of MDC, Inc. and nonprofit groups across the Carolinas.

Long assists members of our armed forces in the Carolinas, Iowa, Rhode Island, Georgia and Germany with financial readiness. Please support our Soldiers, Marines, Airmen and Sailors!

Favorite quote:

"The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not."

Thomas Jefferson
Kenneth Long
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