past due

Updated on: 13 Oct 2017

Definition of past due

1 :late being paid
  • The bill is past due.
2 :late arriving
  • He's past due—it's one o'clock and he was supposed to be here at twelve thirty.

Word by Word Definitions

past play
  1. : ago

  2. : just gone or elapsed

  3. : having existed or taken place in a period before the present : bygone

  1. : beyond the age for or of

  2. : after

  3. : at the farther side of : beyond

  1. : time gone by

  2. : something that happened or was done in the past

  3. : the past tense of a language

  1. : so as to reach and go beyond a point near at hand

due play
  1. : owed or owing as a debt

  2. : owed or owing as a natural or moral right

  3. : according to accepted notions or procedures : appropriate

  1. : something due (see 1due) or owed: such as

  2. : something that rightfully belongs to one

  3. : a payment or obligation required by law or custom : debt

  1. : directly, exactly

  2. : duly


Financial Definition of PAST DUE

past due

What It Is

Past due means overdue. Typically, a bill is past due if the borrower is 30 days past the payment deadline.

How It Works

For example, let's assume your credit card payment is due on December 15. You forget to make the payment. On January 16, you finally remember. By then, though, it's too late. Your bill is past due.

Some accounts have grace periods (often 10 days). During the grace period, the creditor might not assess a late fee or other penalty.

Why It Matters

Past due bills often incur late fees, higher interest rates, penalties and other charges. Worst of all, the creditor might report the late payment to the credit reporting agencies, leaving a black mark on your credit rating (and even lowering your credit rating). In some cases, a bill get so past due (say, 90 or 180 days), that the creditor considers the account in default and may charge off the balance. That doesn't mean the customer or borrower doesn't owe the money anymore; it just means the creditor doesn't think it'll ever get the payment. At that point, it might assign or sell the account to a collection agency, which will try to collect the balance.


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