What is a Slow Pay?

A “slow pay” is exactly what its name suggests it is: a bill you paid too slowly, that is, a payment the creditor received later than the due date. A slow pay can happen with credit cards bills, mortgage payments, or even goods and services which require payments made over time (such as website hosting companies). If your bill is paid less than 30 days late, only the company you paid money to can view that information.

However, as soon as your payment is 30 days late, that fact goes into your credit file. The Fair Isaac Corporation, the developers of the most common credit-scoring system, revealed that for those with a credit score of 680, it can lower their score by 60 to 80 points, while those with a score of 780 will find an even more significant decrease of 90 to 110 points. Even worse, the longer you wait to pay your bill, the more your credit score drops. Unfortunately, small mistakes such as a slow pay can remain on your credit file for seven years.

For small businesses and entrepreneurs, slow payments can make staying in business a lot harder. When accepting new clients, taking simple steps such as checking up on a person’s credit score and laying out clear payment guidelines in the contract can reduce the chance that you will end up with a customer who consistently pays slowly. Creating incentives for customers to pay on time can help both sides win.

Slow payments can have a huge impact on your credit score, and are fairly easy to avoid. Keep in mind that slow payments go in your credit file once the payment is 30 days late, but making those payments on-time—or within a month of on-time—helps both you and the person or business you owe money to.

Jessica Malitoris

Jessica Malitoris was born on August 30, 1990 in London, England to Kerry and John Malitoris. Sixth months later, she and her parents moved to Concord, Massachusetts, a town just outside of Boston. Her younger sister, Julia, was born in 1993. In 1998, the family moved to Vienna, Virginia, near Washington, DC, and in 2004 the family moved again, this time to Raleigh, North Carolina.

Jessica attended high school at Ravenscroft School in Raleigh. She participated in swimming, cross country, and track and field. In track, she was Conference champion her junior and senior years in the 100 meter hurdles. In school, her favorite topics were History and English, and in the summer after her junior year, she studied abroad at Cambridge University in England, majoring in European History and English Literature. That summer, she also attended the Tar Heel Girls’ State educational program, and completed the course that enabled her to become a lifeguard.

Throughout high school, Jessica had worked as a swim instructor for the A. E. Finley YMCA in Raleigh, but during her senior year she began to also work as a lifeguard. At the beginning of the year, her article on the development of the Gothic architectural style in France was published in the Concord Review, a national history periodical. In the spring, she made her decision to attend the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill the following year. Later in the spring, she worked as a research assistant to Professor Michael McElreath of Meredith College. She researched and offered recommendations on potential reading assignments and textbooks for a future course on American Intellectual History.

The summer before beginning college, Jessica worked again as a swim instructor and lifeguard for the YMCA. She began school at UNC Chapel Hill in the fall of 2008. In the spring of 2009, she began work on an article about the changing social and economic roles of women in Mali, a sub-Saharan African nation.The following summer, she completed work on her article while again lifeguarding for the YMCA.

She is now nineteen and a sophomore at UNC Chapel Hill, hoping to major in History with a concentration in non-Western civilizations and a possible minor in Women’s Studies. She enjoys reading, writing, playing the piano, researching, and drawing, and hopes one day to become a professor.

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