Yes this sounds like a common sense, “I should have known this already” information yet there has been one time or another where I missed a payment or didn’t pay the full minimum payment. What happens next? I get stuck with an extra $25 or $39 fee and the threat of my interest rate going up form 14.9% to 29.9%. YIKES!
What to do?
For me it is simple, I not only need to open my mail and look at the bill beyond of what my minimum payment is. I need to look at when is it due and plan my payments accordingly!
Personally, I pay all of my bills online with the exception of my rent. Typically, I have to go to my Bank Bill Center and schedule my payments to meet this deadline. If I pay too early (before the bill is posted) the money goes to paying down my premium but it won’t count for the monthly payment. If I pay to late then I will get stuck with the late fee. Yup, you got it right you have to pay within a specific window that credit card company is giving you.
What I now do is to go into my bank bill payment center and fill out how much money I am paying for each credit card and when do I want it to be deliver it by. This is useful if I want to schedule within the date my paycheck hits.
But online banking has it’s drawbacks such as there is no such thing as an automatic money transfer. Most of the bill transfer takes up one to two business days. For instance, I just submitted a payment on Saturday, May 25 and Bank of America informed me the earliest they can deliver the payment is May 30th. Yup I still have to plan ahead!
So if you forgot to schedule your payments and it is the deadline, then your best bet is to call the credit card directly and a pay via phone. Please note some credit cards do charge an extra fee for this payment method. I know sneaky, sneaky, sneaky!
For my AMEX card, I set up a system where it will automatically withdraw the minimum balance if they don’t receive it within the deadline. No extra fees and it ensure that they received the payment on time. My job is to make sure that there is enough funds in bank account to avoid overdraft fees.
My personal goal is to be debt free by December 1, 2013 and by following this simple step I know i will continue to get closer to this goal.
Call to Action: I want to hear from you when it comes to paying your bills on time. What are some of your personal tricks, to do’s and action steps that you take to make this happen? Do you struggle opening your mail or even listening to your voicemail? Post a comment below!