If you can avoid late payments on your credit card, you're a step closer to a better credit score. Different factors play a role in your credit, and timeliness makes up 35% of your score. Therefore, if you're looking to raise your credit rating and qualify for loans, improving your payment history is an excellent start. Here are seven tips to avoid late payments on your credit card.
1. Only Use One Credit Card
Carrying a balance on a single card is one way to avoid late payments on your credit card. It's easy to overlook a due date when you're juggling multiple credit card accounts. However, if you only have one credit card, you only have to worry about one due date.
2. Only Charge What You Can Afford Each Month
Using a credit card to buy non-essentials can increase your balance. The more you owe, the higher your minimum payment. And unfortunately, a late payment can occur if you don't have enough cash to pay your minimum. To avoid this headache, only use your credit card when absolutely necessary, and only if you're able to pay off the balance in full each month.
3. Open Statements when They Arrive
Develop a routine of opening your mail as soon as it arrives. If you leave a statement in the envelope, you might forget to open it, which plays a role in missing your due date. It also helps to sign up for electronic statements. Your credit card company will deliver statements directly to your inbox.
4. Pay Bills when They Arrive
Not only should you open your credit card statement as soon as it arrives, you should pay your bill as soon as it arrives. Understandably, this isn't always possible. Even if you can't pay the bill on the day of its arrival, aim to pay the bill within the next week. If you procrastinate and wait until the last minute, there's a chance that the payment will arrive late. Sign up for online account management and your credit card company may credit your account on the same day.
5. Get Organized
It's difficult to stay organized when you have a lot of bills. However, there are ways to ensure that you never miss a due date. Take advantage of calendars on your computer or smartphone. Record your due date and then set an alert as a reminder.
6. Automate Your Credit Card Payments
Maybe you have every intention of paying your bills on time, but you often forget because of a busy schedule. This is understandable. To alleviate this problem, set up automatic payments between your bank and credit card company. You can choose how much and when to pay your credit card company. Just make sure that you have enough in the bank account to cover the draft.
7. Speak with Your Creditors
Creditors are able to help you. Therefore, if you can't make a payment by your due date, call the company and ask for a payment extension. You can avoid a late fee by pre-arranging an alternate payment schedule.
Late fees are costly and they add to your credit card balance. Keep these simple tips in mind and you can avoid future late payments and additional fees.
How do you stay on top of credit card payments?