Have you ever made a late credit card payment? It happens to the best of us.
I’ve learned what to do and what not to do after making a late credit card payment. In today’s post I want to share my experience with missing credit card bill due dates and how you can better handle missed and late credit card payments.
My Experience With Late Credit Card Payments
Unfortunately back when I had credit card debt, I had some late credit card payments.
I struggled to handle my finances back then due to bad spending decisions and unstable work situations. I watched as credit card payment due dates came and went without being paid because I didn’t have enough to make a minimum payment.
It was a dire situation but I simply didn’t have the money to pay.
Even worse, the situation snowballed quickly. After I missed one credit card payment due date, I missed another. They both added on fees because I was late and my credit dropped lower. I was too scared to even worry about my credit score because I was struggling to pay my bills on time.
Back then I decided to just make the payments late when I finally had the money. The only option was to wait until I could pay and then work as hard as I could to pay off the entire balance.
Paying my credit cards late made me feel like a loser but it also helped me learn some very important lessons about what you should (and should not) do when you find yourself missing a credit card payment.
What To Do When You Make A Late Credit Card Payment
There are a few things you can do to make paying a credit card payment late less horrible. Here’s what to do:
I found that panicking doesn’t really help. If you’ve missed the date to pay, it’s already too late. Don’t let yourself panic and avoid the situation
Pay the payment ASAP.
Sometimes if you can pay the payment the next day your credit card won’t report it. Paying it as quickly as possible also helps to reduce the impact on your credit score.
Check your credit score.
You can use Credit Sesame to check your credit score for free once a month. You can see how much a late payment affects your score by checking your score and monitoring it.
Stay on top of other payments.
If you’ve made one late payment you can stop the damage by not letting it snowball into LOTS of missed payments.
Call the credit card company.
If you simply can’t make the payment, call your credit card company. They can be hard to deal with but sometimes you can get someone who will work with you.
Set up payment reminders.
If you missed the payment because you forgot, set up a payment reminder on your phone or home calendar. Write it down in a planner if you need to do so.
Try paying smaller payments more often.
If you have trouble with a large payment all at once, try paying smaller amounts toward your credit card at the end of each week or biweekly. This can make it feel easier and keep you on top of your credit card payment.
Remember the big picture!
Missing a credit card payment or paying it late is not the end of the world. It might ding your credit score a tiny bit but in the long run it’s a small blip. Don’t worry and just get right back on track financially!