KNSD - Buying a house or refinancing a loan is a big deal, but sometimes something as small as a late payment can make your plans come crashing down.
In fact, a single late payment on a mortgage can push down your credit score as much as 60 to 110 points.
And that can get in the way of a new home loan or refinance.
"30 days? Bad. 60 days? Real bad. 90 days is going to be very difficult. It could be two to four years before you can get another mortgage," said SDSU Real Estate Professor, Matt Goldman.
Teresa Halleck, of San Diego County Credit Union says they have to look at scores and payment history to decide who will be a good risk in the future.
"It shows demonstrated ability to pay and commitment to the lender that you'll do so going forward," said Halleck.
A late payment on your car or your credit card can also have an impact on your credit score.
It makes a difference on what rate you get.
Which is why it's not a good idea to make your payments too close to the end of the grace period.
A late payment usually comes with a financial penalty and a kick to your credit score that can take years to go away.