What Is a 30-Day Delinquency?

November 6, 2006, Reviewed July 30, 2008

Anyone who has read a credit report has noticed that payment delinquencies are shown as 30, 60 and 90 days. This confused the borrower who sent me the following note.

"I had a mortgage payment due February 1 that I paid March 1. The lender reported me to the credit bureaus as being 30 days late, but in fact, I was only 28 days late – there are only 28 days in February. They refuse to fix it, how can I get them to recognize their mistake?"

You can’t, they are following industry practice, which is indeed needlessly confusing. The 30, 60 and 90 days really mean 1, 2 and 3 months. The practice of expressing them in days probably reflects the attempt to minimize the number of digits used in credit reports. "60 days" uses 7 digits whereas "2 months" uses 8.

Your March 1 payment was 1 month late, and the fact there were only 28 days in that month doesn’t matter. 

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