Does Not Paying a Storage Unit Harm Your Credit?

Published: 25 Sep, 2023

Last Updated: 25 Sep, 2023

Serik Baimoldayev

Serik Baimoldayev

Ever looked at your credit score and thought, “How did that happen?” You’re not alone. Many of us forget about those monthly payments for the storage unit tucked away in some corner of the city.

But what if I told you, that forgotten payment could be silently chipping away at your credit health? Surprised?

In this enlightening journey we’re embarking on together, we’ll unravel how skipping out on a storage unit bill can affect your precious credit score. We’ll delve into understanding our mysterious friend – the Credit Score, and see just where our old pal Storage Unit fits in this complex puzzle.

We won’t stop there! Brace yourself as we navigate through late penalties, alternatives to these units, legal recourse available to you and even tips to mend that damaged credit score!

Table Of Contents:

Understanding Credit Scores

Credit scores are like report cards for adults. They summarize your credit history into a three-digit number that lenders use to decide if they’ll let you borrow money and at what interest rate.

The most common type of score is the FICO Score, created by the Fair Isaac Corporation. This score ranges from 300-850 with higher scores indicating better creditworthiness. The exact formula isn’t public knowledge but it’s based on five factors: payment history (35%), amounts owed (30%), length of credit history (15%), new credit inquiries (10%) and types of credit used (10%). More details can be found here.

Your Storage Unit Payments Can Affect Your Score

Paying bills on time is crucial because late payments can hurt your FICO score, as mentioned earlier.

This includes not just big items like mortgages or student loans, but also smaller expenses, such as storage unit rentals. If you don’t pay your storage bill and it gets sent to collections, this negative information will appear on your report and bring down your overall score.

If some moving companies send an unpaid account to collections after several missed payments – say 60 days overdue – then that collection action would show up in the “payment history” part of your report which contributes significantly towards calculating a person’s FICO Score. Learn more about preventing a storage unit from going into collections here.

But Not All Late Payments Are Equal

Not all late payments will affect your credit score the same way. It depends on how overdue they are, how much you owe and how recently it happened.

If you’re only a few days late with a small amount due, this might not hurt your credit too badly. But if you’re consistently paying late or missing multiple payments in succession, that could significantly harm your score.

Key Takeaway: 

Credit scores, akin to grown-up report cards, reflect your creditworthiness. They factor in payment history and amounts owed, among other things. Even smaller expenses like storage unit payments can impact this score if they go unpaid and are sent to collections. But remember, not all late payments carry the same weight – frequency, amount due and recency play a role.

Impact of Unpaid Storage Units

Skipping storage unit payments might seem harmless, but it can seriously hurt your credit score. Credit scores take into account payment history – a significant factor in their calculation. Not paying for a storage unit is comparable to not fulfilling any other kind of debt.

The first hit comes from late fees that pile up when you miss payments. These added costs make catching up more difficult, adding stress and financial strain.

If left unpaid for too long, the storage company may decide to auction off your belongings as seen on shows like Storage Wars. This action doesn’t clear the slate though; remaining balances are still owed after an auction.

Late Payments Reported to Credit Bureaus

Your missed payments could end up with collection agencies if they remain unresolved. The transfer itself damages your credit score because collections show serious delinquency.

A collection record stays on your report for seven years according to Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), even if you settle the debt eventually. So not only does non-payment affect present finances, but it also impacts future borrowing ability and interest rates due to its effect on one’s credit health.

Court Judgments

In some cases, unpaid bills lead companies towards legal recourse: filing lawsuits against customers who owe them money. Winning such a case allows us to garnish wages or levy bank accounts – court judgments that become public record.

Public records can be viewed by anyone, including future lenders and landlords. They indicate serious credit risk and could lead to denied applications or higher rates when you apply for loans or rent homes in the future.

Eviction from Storage Unit

Wrapping up, if you don’t keep up with your storage unit payments, you might face eviction. So be mindful.

Key Takeaway: 

Don’t underestimate the impact of missing storage unit payments on your credit score. Late fees pile up, making it tough to bounce back and could even lead to your stuff being auctioned off – with any leftover balance still on you. Unpaid debts can end up in collections or court judgments, damaging your credit for years. Plus, failing to pay might get you kicked out from the storage.

Late Payment Penalties

Not paying for your storage unit on time can lead to some hefty fees. Many companies will charge late fees if payments are not made by the due date.

This is a common practice in the industry and is usually outlined in your rental agreement. It’s critical to thoroughly review the terms of your rental agreement so you know what repercussions could arise if payment is not made on time.

Fees can differ substantially between different companies, but usually they range from $10 to $20 or 15% of the monthly rent. But it doesn’t stop there; many facilities also have lien sale fees which come into play if you fail to pay over an extended period.

The Lien Process

After multiple missed payments, most states allow storage facilities to place a lien on the items inside the unit. This means they claim ownership of your belongings until all outstanding debt is paid off.

In worst-case scenarios where accounts remain unpaid, units may be auctioned off as seen on shows like “Storage Wars”. Yes. That’s right – someone else could end up owning Grandma’s china set because of missed payments.

Avoiding Late Fees

  • Paying on time: Sounds obvious but setting reminders can help avoid unnecessary charges.
  • Automatic Payments: Most providers offer auto-pay options that deduct funds directly from bank accounts or credit cards every month.
  • Budgeting: Keep track of expenses and make sure enough money is available when bills are due.

Understanding and managing your storage unit payments can help avoid unwanted late fees. More importantly, it can prevent negative impacts on your credit score.

Impact on Credit Score

If the debt continues to grow, storage companies might send the account to a collection agency. These agencies are known for reporting delinquent accounts to credit bureaus, which could negatively affect your credit score.

Having a low credit score can really throw a wrench in plans to get loans.

Key Takeaway: 

Not paying for your storage unit on time can result in late fees, potential ownership claims over your stored items, and even harm to your credit score. To avoid these consequences, remember to pay on time by setting reminders or using auto-pay options. Keep track of expenses so you’re prepared when bills are due.

Credit Reporting Agencies

Knowing how credit reporting agencies work is key when understanding the impact of unpaid storage unit bills on your credit score. These agencies, including Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion, are responsible for collecting data about your financial habits.

One aspect they track? Your payment history with companies. If you’re late or miss payments altogether, it gets reported. But here’s a surprise: not all businesses report to these bureaus directly.

The Role of Collections Agencies in Credit Reporting

Sometimes, if you’ve got an unpaid bill from us or any other storage company, it might be sent over to a collections agency after several missed payments. This isn’t something we enjoy doing – but remember that this action helps ensure our services remain top-notch for customers who do pay their bills regularly.

The twist is this: while some smaller businesses may not have direct lines to the big three credit bureaus mentioned earlier (we’re talking Experian, Equifax and TransUnion), collection agencies definitely do.

Potential Consequences of Unpaid Storage Units on Credit Scores

A common question asked by folks dealing with overdue storage unit fees is “How much will this hurt my credit?” It’s important because many factors determine your final score — including whether outstanding debts get sent off to collections agents as we just talked about.

  • An unpaid storage unit bill can potentially lead to a significant drop in your credit score if it gets reported.
  • The exact impact will vary depending on the rest of your credit profile, including factors like total debt and payment history with other creditors.

So, yes – an unpaid storage bill could indeed negatively affect your credit. But don’t fret too much yet. There are steps you can take to help repair any damage done. Keep reading for tips on how to do just that.

Key Takeaway: 

Knowing how credit agencies operate helps you understand why unpaid storage unit bills can hurt your score. While not all businesses report to these bureaus, collections agencies do. So, if your overdue bill is sent to a collection agency, it could lead to a significant drop in your credit score. But don’t worry – there are ways to fix this.

Improving Your Credit Score

Got an unpaid storage unit bill that’s messing with your credit score? Don’t sweat it. You can fix this, and we’re here to help.

Pay Off The Debt

The first step is pretty simple: pay off the debt. Yes, even if it’s gone to collections or you’ve been sued over it. Paying the debt shows future lenders you take responsibility for your actions.

If money is tight, reach out to the creditor. They might be willing to negotiate a payment plan or settle for less than what’s owed.

Credit Repair Services

You could also consider using credit repair services. These folks work on disputing errors on your report and negotiating lower payments with creditors. But be cautious – not all are legitimate.

Diversify Your Credit Mix

Lenders like seeing different types of credit on your report because it demonstrates you can handle various forms of debts responsibly.

For instance, have a mix of installment loans (like auto or student loans) and revolving credits (like credit cards).

Maintain Low Balances On Credit Cards

A large part of improving your score lies in how much debt you owe compared to how much available credit you have – known as “Credit Utilization Ratio”. Try keeping card balances below 30% of their limits. “The lesser the better”.

Create A Budget And Stick To It.

  • By adhering to a budget, you can ensure that all of your payments are made promptly and accurately.
  • By sticking to a budget, not only will your credit score improve over time but you can also rest assured that all of your payments are taken care of.

The bottom line is improving a credit score isn’t rocket science. It just needs consistency and discipline in handling finances responsibly. And remember: You’ve got this.

Key Takeaway: 

Don’t let an unpaid storage unit bill hurt your credit score. Start by paying off the debt, even if it’s gone to collections. Consider help from legitimate credit repair services, diversify your types of credit and maintain low balances on cards. Finally, stick to a budget for timely payments and peace of mind.

Alternatives to Storage Units

If you’re feeling the pinch of storage unit costs, don’t worry. Consider other cost-effective options that could help protect your finances and credit score.

Sell or Donate Unneeded Items

Take an inventory of the items in your storage unit and consider if they are truly necessary. Do you really need all those items? Selling unwanted things on eBay, Craigslist, or even hosting a yard sale can clear space and give you some extra cash. Donating to charities like Goodwill is another great option.

Rent Space from Friends or Family Members

This might sound funny, but it works. If a friend has an empty garage, why not use it? It’ll be cheaper than renting a commercial storage unit and you know exactly where your stuff is.

Use Your Own Property for Storage

You’d be surprised how much space is hiding in plain sight around our homes. Use under-bed boxes for clothes or books, install shelves along walls, utilize attic spaces – get creative.

Digitalize Documents

A lot of us hold onto paper documents we don’t really need physical copies of anymore. Scanning these files then storing them online through services like Google Drive will free up lots more room than expected.

Renting Cheaper Self-Storage Options

  • CubeSmart: Known for their budget-friendly rates.
  • Public Storage: Offers a variety of sizes and competitive prices.
  • SpareFoot: A storage unit search engine that helps find the best deals in your area.

Don’t sweat the move. With these options, your stuff’s safety is a sure thing.

Legal Recourse for Unpaid Storage Units

If you find yourself unable to pay your storage unit bill, don’t panic. There are legal ways to navigate this issue without letting it harm your credit score.

Negotiating with the Storage Company

First off, try talking directly to the storage company. Often they’re more than willing to work out a payment plan that suits both parties.

This could include negotiating a reduced rate or setting up an installment plan. Remember, their goal is not to ruin your credit but rather get paid for their services.

Contacting Credit Counseling Agencies

If negotiations aren’t successful, consider reaching out to reputable credit counseling agencies. They can offer guidance and even mediate between you and the storage facility on settling unpaid debts in a way that doesn’t impact your credit score negatively.

Filing Bankruptcy as Last Resort

In extreme cases where debt has spiraled out of control and affecting multiple areas of life beyond just unpaid storage units bills – bankruptcy might be considered as a last resort option. However, do note, filing bankruptcy should always be seen as a last resort because although it may eliminate some or all of the debt owed – its negative impacts on one’s financial health can be long-lasting and serious.

Note: Always consult with professionals before taking any major steps like these.

Next time when choosing a moving/storage company ensure doing proper research about their terms and conditions along with the pricing structure so you know exactly what you are signing up for.

In fact, at SEKA Moving we believe in transparency, thus our prices remain fixed unless there’s a change in your moving plan.

Key Takeaway: 

Stuck with an unpaid storage unit bill? Don’t sweat it. Start by talking to the company, they often help work out a payment plan. If that fails, credit counseling agencies can step in. As a last resort and after professional advice, bankruptcy could be considered – but remember it’s not without serious long-term consequences.

FAQs in Relation to Does Not Paying a Storage Unit affect Your Credit

What happens if you stop paying for storage?

If you halt payments, the storage facility might auction off your stuff to recoup lost revenue after a set period.

How long before a storage unit is auctioned off in California?

In California, typically 30 days must pass without payment before your belongings can be put up for auction.

How often do you have to pay for storage?

You usually need to shell out monthly fees for most self-storage units. But it varies based on the rental agreement.

When can a storage unit be auctioned off in Michigan?

In Michigan, facilities can legally sell stored items at an auction 14 days post initial notice of non-payment.


Wrapping up, not paying your storage unit can indeed harm your credit score. It’s a reality that numerous people neglect to recognize.

Understand how credit scores work and the role storage units play in this process. Knowledge is power after all!

Paying late for these units? Be ready to face penalties! But remember there are alternatives available if you’re finding it tough to keep up with payments.

If the damage has been done, don’t despair! There are ways to fix a damaged credit score; take them one step at a time.

The bottom line: does not paying a storage unit affect your credit? Yes, it can and quite significantly too. Keep on top of those bills – your future self will thank you!

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