If you are one of the many Americans who are feeling the pressure in your wallet to choose between which bills to skip this month, you are not alone. Some people choose to skip the mortgage payment. But before you make that final decision, there are several items you should take into account regarding what happens when you do that.

First of all, since your mortgage is a much bigger loan than a credit card, skipping your mortgage payment takes a much higher toll on your credit score. While your score won’t be affected if your payment is under 30 days late, any missed payment after 30 days is disastrous. Your lender will immediately notify the credit bureaus and your late payment will reflect on your credit history.

You may not think too much into this if you aren’t planning on applying for any other loans or opening another credit card, but this hit to your credit score may produce a ripple effect. Because credit companies periodically check into your credit score, they may see your failure of payment as a risk to them. In return, they may increase your interest rate or lower your credit limit.

But your creditors aren’t the only ones who may act. Your mortgage lender may also begin enacting underlying clauses that have been written into the contract that you are not aware of. And while you will incur a late fee and most likely won’t go into foreclosure for one missed payment, your lender may begin foreclosure procedures after the third missed payment.

To prevent any of this, if you feel you are not able to make a payment on time or during the grace period, it is important to contact your lender. In most cases, they will be able to make arrangements with you to keep your mortgage current and on track.

This post was written by Stephen Hachey. Follow Stephen on Google, Facebook, Twitter & Linkedin.