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Costs are escalating, and times have become tough for many Canadians. As a result, some homeowners may miss a mortgage payment or two just to be able to meet the basic necessities of life.

If you’ve ever found yourself in tight financial circumstances and even digging deep doesn’t help you to come up with the funds you need every month, you might not be able to pay your mortgage. Here are some things you might expect when that’s the case.

Playing catch-up. If you have the intention of making those missed payments up, chances are you won’t suffer any major consequences. It depends on your lender and how lenient they are. If you never make the missed payment up at all, you might have more severe repercussions. Missing a payment or two may adversely affect your credit score since lenders can report payments that are 30 or more days late to the credit bureau. Most lenders, however, will work with clients to help them make up missed payments.

Why just one missed payment may cause issues. Even if a homeowner misses a single mortgage payment, it may cause a ripple effect since the payment won’t just be added to the principal that is remaining. The next month’s payment will automatically be late if you don’t pay both payments up front.

If you don’t make good on the missed payment right away, every payment moving forward will be considered as being a late payment. Missing one payment may not be the end of the world, but when payments are missed here and there, it could create problems.

Late fees will likely be charged. Every missed payment will be charged a late fee and they can add up over time. You will just be adding to your debt. Most mortgages in Canada have a 15-day grace period, however, so you won’t be charged a late fee until you’re 15 or more days late with your payment. Check your mortgage contract to be sure of this.

Regroup and recoup. The last thing you want is for your credit score to suffer because of a missed mortgage payment or two. It’s extremely important to make payments on time, so set reminders or have payments automatically deducted from your bank account. If you do miss a payment, try to pay it as soon as possible to save your credit score. Credit bureaus may be forgiving when it comes to one missed payment. Any more than that on a consistent basis and you may have to do some credit score damage control.