The consequences of missing your credit card payment or making the payment late are far-reaching, painful, and they make your best effort appear futile. You might have to deal with late fees, your creditor might increase your interest rate, and the late payment is recorded in your credit report.
The worst bit is that your credit score may drop and as we all know, trying to build your credit is one of the hardest things you have to do. In most cases, the late payment will be because of your forgetfulness rather than your inability to pay. If this has happened to you, this article outlines ways of dealing with late credit card payments:
Set up notifications or automate your payments
You don’t want to make the same mistake twice and if your issuer grants you your wish, consider setting up notifications or automating the payments. You could organize this with the card issuer as well. If you are struggling, your tax lawyer Toronto might not help but trying to pay off your balance, in full, every month is effective in avoiding late fees or interest charges,
And, if your statements arrive at the wrong time of the month for you, you should consider contacting your credit card company and ask them to change the date on your statement.
Settle your account
Though late, settle the unpaid amount, and if you are struggling, you should consider paying the least amount of money due on that account. It is important to make the payment within 30 days after the payment deadline. This is because most issuers only record late payments to the credit bureaus after the 30-day mark. You shouldn’t however, bank on this possibility because there are many times when this strategy fails. Since lenders report balances to the credit bureaus once monthly, try to make the payment within the shortest time after the payment deadline.
Call your credit card issuer
As mentioned above, your late payment will either attract a late fee and/or a higher interest on your balance – higher monthly payment. But, you should be proactive. If the delay was an unexpected delay, call the issuer and recommend paying off the balance immediately. Just explain that the delay was an innocent mistake. You could also ask them if they could refund the late fee and the interest charges. However, this only works well when you are willing to pay off the balance once.
What if the call is unsuccessful? Call again. Though the issuer is not required to honor your request, it might be worth a second try, especially if you made your payments on time in the past and if you used the card regularly. You must be polite and don’t make any demands.
Monitor all your credit card reports
You do know that sometimes, your credit report may have inaccurate details, right? And though one late payment that does not exceed 30 days will not affect your credit report, you need to request the report often and check all the figures and dates on the report. It is especially important to request the report if you are often late making your minimum payments on time and if your payment is about 180 days late.