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In finance, “delinquent” refers to a failure to fulfill a financial obligation, such as not paying a debt or loan on time. It typically applies to situations where a payment is overdue by 30 days or more. Persistent delinquencies can have significant negative effects on a person’s credit rating.


The phonetic spelling of “Delinquent” is /dɪˈlɪŋkwənt/.

Key Takeaways

Here are the three main takeaways about the term ‘delinquent”:

  1. Definition: In the general sense, the term ‘delinquent’ refers to a person, typically a young individual, who fails to adhere to the rules, laws, or societal norms. In the context of finance, ‘delinquent’ is used to denote overdue or unpaid debts.
  2. Consequences: Delinquent behaviour, especially among minors, is considered problematic, and if unchecked, may escalate into criminal behaviour in the future. Similarly, being delinquent on loan repayments can lead to severe financial penalties and damage to credit ratings.
  3. Prevention: Effective methods to prevent delinquent behavior include early intervention programs, consistent discipline, sets of clear rules, and the presence of strong and supportive relationships. In financial contexts, proper financial planning and management can help in preventing loan delinquencies.


The business/finance term “delinquent” is important as it provides insight into an individual’s or company’s financial behavior and creditworthiness. It refers to a failure to fulfil obligation, particularly a financial one, like not making loan repayments or credit card payments within the stipulated time period. When an account is classified as delinquent, it can lead to significant negative consequences. These negative impacts can range from late fees charged by the lender to potential damage to the debtor’s credit score. Furthermore, it can result in increased interest rates on current and future debts, legal action, or even bankruptcy. Understanding and avoiding delinquency is crucial for maintaining financial health and stability.


The term “delinquent” in finance/business is used to categorize borrowers who fail to fulfill their debt obligations in a timely manner. Whether it’s missing a payment on a credit card, loan, mortgage, or other types of financial obligation, when your account status becomes delinquent, it indicates that you haven’t complied with the payment terms detailed in the contract. By classifying an account as delinquent, lending organizations can apply specific procedures aimed at managing risk, mitigating losses, and encouraging borrowers to remedy their payment issues.In the scope of managing financial health, both for individuals and businesses, monitoring and addressing delinquencies serves a crucial purpose. For lenders, it triggers the process of debt recovery and can provide an opportunity to restructure the payment plan or find other solutions to minimize losses. For borrowers, it serves as a serious alert to address the financial issue at hand. Repeat delinquencies negatively impact credit score, which can make it more challenging to secure financing in the future. Therefore, understanding the concept of delinquency and its ramifications is key for overall financial management.


1. Credit Card Delinquency: This is a common occurrence in personal finance. Let’s suppose that John is a credit card holder who consistently misses his payment due dates. If he doesn’t manage to make the minimum payment by the due date, his account status will be changed to “delinquent” by the credit card company. As a result, John will be charged late fees, his credit score could decrease, and if it continues, his account may be sent to collections.2. Mortgage Delinquency: On the business front, this is also a common form of delinquency. Consider a business that took out a loan to finance commercial property but fails to meet the agreed mortgage payments consistently. They become delinquent in their mortgage payments. If this continues for an extended period, they may face foreclosure.3. Car Loan Delinquency: In a real-life scenario, let’s assume that Samantha bought a car through a bank loan, with the agreement to pay back the loan in installments. However, if Samantha fails to make these payments on time, she will be tagged as delinquent by the bank. Continued delinquency can result in repossession of the car by the bank.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

What does the term delinquent mean in finance and business?

The term delinquent in finance and business refers to the failure to meet an obligation or make a payment on time. It often refers to late or missed payments on loans, credit cards or other debts.

What happens when an account becomes delinquent?

When an account becomes delinquent, the lender may report it to credit reporting agencies, add late fees or interest to the amount owed, or take legal action to recover the debt. It can also negatively affect the person’s credit score.

When is a loan considered to be delinquent?

A loan is generally considered delinquent once a payment is missed. However, different lenders may have different definitions of delinquency. It’s best to check your loan agreement or contact your lender to understand their specific timelines.

How does delinquency affect my credit score?

Delinquency can have a significant negative impact on your credit score. The longer the payment is overdue, and the more payments missed, the greater the impact on your credit score.

Can I resolve a delinquent account?

Yes, a delinquent account can usually be resolved by catching up on missed payments, including any additional fees or interests charged. Contacting your lender to discuss the situation may also help you to find a solution like setting up a payment plan.

What’s the difference between delinquency and default?

Delinquency refers to late or missed payments, while default generally means the borrower has failed to meet their debt obligations entirely and the lender no longer expects the borrower to make future payments. Default is more severe and can have more serious consequences than delinquency.

How can I prevent delinquency?

The best way to prevent delinquency is to make all your loan or credit card payments on time. You can use automatic payments, payment reminders or budget planning to help ensure you don’t miss a payment. If you’re experiencing financial difficulties, it’s best to speak with your lender as soon as possible.

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