by Daryl Flagg
Everyone hates late fees and being late will
cost you dearly these days. For some credit cards today, if you are late, you
will have to shell out as much as $40 each time. This can put a nice sized hole
in your pocket really quick.
Below, I will provide you with some tips and
strategies on how to steer clear of those monstrous late fees. This will not
only save you a lot of money in the long run, but it will also keep those
money-hungry credit card companies, I won’t mention any names, from getting
your hard earned money.
Just pay your bill. One of the easiest ways of
avoiding a late fee is to just pay your bill each and every month by sending in
a check, money order, or other type of payment to your respective credit card
issuer. Just make sure you follow the numerous guidelines, which are usually
outlined on the back of each credit card bill, on how to send in your payment.
These guidelines must be followed precisely if you want to guarantee that your
payment will go through on time.
Payment guidelines may include everything from
a specific payment address to the time of day by which the payment must be
received to be credited that day. Many issuers also stipulate that payments must
arrive in the preprinted envelope sent to the customer.
While the Fair Credit Billing Act requires
issuers to credit payments the day they are received, each issuer is allowed to
set specific payment guidelines. If any of the guidelines are not met, the
issuer can take as many as five days to credit the payment.
An on-time payment could easily become late
during that five-day period, so follow those payment guidelines carefully.
Just skip the payment. One of the more rare
types of methods you hear of are Skip-A-Payment services. You can use these
services to skip mortgage, credit card, or loan payments. Usually you would need
to get in contact with your bank just to see if you even qualify or not. There
are also independent companies out there that will allow you to do the same
thing, no matter what bank you are a member of. Depending on whose service you
use, the fee’s associated with it vary. When you use these types of services
make sure you know how much you will be charged then decide if it’s worth it
Pay minimum due immediately. One of the best
ways to prevent a late fee from being charged to your account is to pay the
minimum due immediately. As soon as you receive your bill, send in the minimum
due. This will always insure that your credit card issuer received payment. You
can always send in more money later if you decide otherwise. This is a great way
to avoid missing a payment because if you forget to send extra money you can
guarantee that you won’t be charged a late fee because the minimum due has
been already been paid.
Move your due date. Are your credit card bills
due at a time of the month when you're running low on cash? Many people have
trouble saving money, so when it comes time to paying their credit card bills,
they don’t have any cash to do so. One particular solution is to move your due
date. Many credit card issuers will allow you to set your own due date to meet
your specific needs. If you have trouble saving money, move your due date to a
time when you do have money, like as soon as you get your paycheck. If you time
your credit card bill to come the same day you get paid, you will always have
cash to pay the bill.
Pay by phone. If you are one of those people
that wait to the last minute to do everything or if you just forgot to send in
your credit card payment early enough, you could always pay by phone. This
guarantees that your payment will be on time. Just supply the representative on
the other line with your checking account number and your bank routing number,
which is printed at the bottom of each check. Usually the routing number is
first and the account number is second. A lot of issuers allow you to pay by
phone and some will charge you a pretty penny for doing so. Fee’s can range
from $5 to $20.
Use other express methods. If your bank does
not offer a “pay by phone” service and you need to get your payment to your
credit card issuer as soon as possible, I recommend either sending your payment
in by express mail or by Western Union. Either one of these services can get
your payment to your credit card issuer immediately. These express methods are
costly, but it will always most likely be cheaper than any fees associated with
being late. Make sure you send your express payment to the proper address. Many
issuers have separate payment addresses for express payments. The last thing you
want to do is slow the processing of an express payment by sending it to the
About the Author:
Daryl Flagg is the founder and CEO of Next
Month Online. Next Month Online is a service that allows its visitors to skip
credit card payments. They can be found at http://www.NextMonthOnline.com.
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