You Really Need to Set up Automatic Credit Card Payments

Hey, you paid your credit card bill in a month, right?

If this question made you sit up a little straighter and second guess whether you actually pay your credit card … well, I’m not surprised.

It turns out that despite the fact that we have previously discussed, you should automate your finances to never miss a payment, many of you are still missing deadlines. A new survey on personal finance recommendation site WalletHub found that 18% of adults expect to miss at least one credit card due date in 2020.

And it’s not because they don’t have enough money to pay. The main reason the respondents missed their credit card payment was because they simply forgot about it. And people with high income ($ 100,000 or more) are twice as likely as people with low income ($ 25,000 or less) to miss a payment due to forgetfulness.

The easiest way to avoid this common mistake is to do the best financial trick you can customize for yourself: schedule regular payments on your credit card a few days before the due date. You do not need to know exactly how much will be on your balance sheet; just install it into your bank account to receive the minimum required payment. Once you see that the transaction has gone through, you will be reminded to log in and pay off the remaining balance after this automatic payment.

“It will at least remove forgetfulness as a potential cause,” said WalletHub CEO Odisseas Papadimitriou. But you will still need to make sure you have enough money in your check to pay the minimum balance. Thirty percent of respondents said they paid late due to lack of money.

If your credit card is due during a difficult time of each month – say, the third of the month when you just paid your rent with the first day’s check – you can ask your credit card issuer to change the due date . This can usually be done by logging into your online account and reviewing your account settings; you can also use the customer service option on your card chat if you don’t want to ask over the phone.

And while you’re signed in, check how much late fees are charged on your credit card. WalletHub found that only 49% of people think of late card fees when they decide to apply. A quick reminder of how much extra money you will lose if you don’t pay on time may encourage you to collect it as soon as possible. Typically, if a card is charged late fees, it will be charged $ 29 for the first violation and $ 40 for any other late payments within a six month period – the legal limit for those fees.

If your late payment is indeed a one-time mistake, it’s worth asking to have your late payment fee waived: According to a survey, nearly nine out of 10 people who said they tried to waive credit card late fees were successful. … But if you recur, don’t expect to be so lucky, even if you have a card that doesn’t advertise late fees. “No late fees” often effectively means no fees the first time you miss a deadline, Papadimitriou said. “After that all bets are canceled.”

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