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Making one late car payment means a consumer’s positive credit score will lose 100 points on average, said a study published this week.

Depending on the system, a perfect score can be 990 (Vantage) or 850 (FICO). The average credit score for U.S. consumers with no late auto payments is nearly 100 points higher than for those who have at least one late payment, according to the latest National Score Index study by Experian Consumer Direct.

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