If you have had a late payment on anything with mitigating circumstances.... like you were in the hospital or something to that effect. Call your credit card company, write them a letter stating the circumstances, and ask them to forgive the lateness and report it to the credit reporting services. Ask for documentation of this in writing. It could make a significant difference in your credit score.... Many don't give it a second thought and don't think it matters, but if you want to make a significant purchase it could mean the difference of that happening or not.