Tips to Help Make Timely Credit Card Payments

Written by admin on April 10th, 2011

Consumers spend a lot of time and energy trying to find the best interest rates and other favorable conditions before selecting a credit card. In some cases people decide to accept offers from balance transfer cards to move their entire balance just to reduce their interest charges each month. After all that effort one would think that more consumers would be conscientious about paying their credit card bill on time, however many people find themselves racking up late fees and losing low interest rates due to payments not received by the due date. The following tips can help you avoid late payments and the penalties that result.

Know The Details- It would seem like the obvious first step, yet many card holders fail this very important step. Before you can make arrangements to ensure timely payments you must know when your payments are due. Take a close look at the fine print of your credit card agreement to determine the number of days you have to make a payment before interest begins to accrue (know as the grace period). Additional information to look for and understand is when the payment is due, not only the specific day but the time of day as well. This is especially important for consumers who intend on paying via the Internet or auto pay where payments are posted electronically.

Know Your Payment Options- Unlike several years ago, you have many options to make your payments beyond mailing a paper check through the postal service. Today you can pay your bill in a number of ways such as online, by telephone (call), by cell phone or automated withdrawals. Knowing which way you intend on paying will help you determine how much time you have to get your payment processed. Clearly the slowest and least definitive ways to send your payment is via the paper check in the mail route. Unless you pay extra to track your payment through the postal system you have to “guess” that your payment will arrive in time by sending it off almost two weeks prior to the due date. Taking advantage of technology gives you the option of scheduling your payment, receiving confirmation and tracking to see the payment was posted. Most online, or phone payments can be posted immediately or at least the same day.

Fitting Your Payment Into Your Budget- Now that you know when your payment is due and how you are going to make your payment the next step is ensuring you have the funds available to actually pay the bill. Most people have bills that are due each month on or around the same due date. This is why having a household budget makes handling your personal finances easier. You will have to have the necessary payment in your bank account before the due date. This may take a bit of planning on your part since you will likely have months where your payday falls just either just before or after your due date. This means you will have to “schedule” your credit card payment to come out of the previous paycheck. If you pay your balance in full or have a very high minimum payment you may need to put aside a predetermined amount from each paycheck prior to the date you will schedule (or send) your payment to ensure you have all the funds available.

Paying your credit card bills or any of your bills for that matter on time is essential to building and maintaining a good credit history. Not only will you be taking the necessary steps toward reducing your debt you will also avoid incurring late payment fees or risking a higher interest rate being applied to your account.

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