Tackling Credit Card Late Fees

Written by admin on April 9th, 2011

So many people in this country seem to have a huge problem in keeping track of their credit card payments. In fact, such a huge number of people are unaware of the day that their credit card bill is due that the credit card companies have literally set up profit centers based purely on handling consumer late charges.

In order to gain control of your credit car usages and keep your charges in check, you need to have a plan. And, one good way to begin is by taking out your spreadsheet and recording all of your card specifics on the sheet. List the name of the card, the date your payments are due, the invoice date, the current balance, the interest rate, their contact info, and any other information you feel may be useful. Don’t just include your major credit cards. Include any department store cards as well.

After you complete filling out your sheet, the first thing you should take note of is how many credit cards you have. If you have more than 3, seriously consider getting rid of a few.

Next, talk to your bank and have them set you up with a way to pay your credit card bills automatically online. In just the past few years alone, late fees have virtually skyrocketed. A lot of times, because of slow or misdelivered mail, you will receive your credit card bill either late or not at all. And, a lot of times, when you mail in your payment, even as early as a week before it is due, the credit card company will claim that it didn’t get them in time. In either case, you will be charged a late fee.  One way of avoiding late fees is to simply pay your bills online. As long as you have enough money in your bank account, you can be sure that the payment will be credited to the credit card company on the appropriate date.

If you have a computer, your spreadsheet is the perfect place to organize your information so that you can tell at a glance where you are financially. For example, your organized sheet can tell you the invoice date for each of your credit cards. If you note that you have not yet received your invoice from a card company within a couple of days of the invoice date, you should call them to inform them and to find out your balance for that month. And, if you have set up an online payment mechanism as described above, you will be able to pay your balance in plenty of time.

On the bright side, things are looking up a bit for consumers. Just recently, the U.S. Congress passed the Credit Card Act of 2009. Part of its provisions is a new rule which limits the amount of money that their customers can be charged for late fees to  . This was mostly in response to some of the outrageous late fees that many credit card holders were charging for late payments. The new rule goes into effect in August of this year.

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