These payment tips and strategies will show you how to prevent costly credit card late fees. Paying late credit card payment fees is like throwing your money away in the trash can. Late credit card payments can also hurt your credit score.
When credit card companies process credit card payments, every little detail is extremely important. Get just one of these little details wrong and you will end up paying credit card late fees.
The Fair Credit Billing Act requires credit card companies to credit payments the day they are received.
However, this law allows each credit card issuer to set their own specific payment guidelines. If any of these guidelines are not met, the credit card company can take as many as five days to credit the payment.
Even if you get your payment to your credit card company on time, it could become late during that five-day period and the credit card company could legally charge you credit card late fees.
So it’s in your best interest to follow those payment guidelines carefully. These guidelines are most often on the back of each credit card bill.
Here are the five best ways to prevent credit card late fees.
1. Follow Credit Card Payment Guidelines Carefully
This includes everything from a specific payment address to the time of day the payment must be received to be credited that day. Some companies require that payments must arrive in the preprinted envelope they sent to you.
To be safe, use the preprinted envelope provided by a credit card company. Include the billing coupon, and be sure to write the amount being paid in the box provided.
Make your check legible, sign it and double check that the payment amount is correct. Write your credit card account number on your check. Make sure you send the payment with the proper postage to the payment address requested by the credit card company.
2. Pay The Minimum Payment Immediately
The safest way to prevent paying credit card late fees is to pay the bill as soon as it arrives. Even if you can only make the 2 percent minimum payment it’s better than paying late credit card payments with late fees. You can always make additional payments later if you want to keep your interest costs down.
3. Change Your Due Date
Most major credit card companies will let you set your own due date if you just ask. Set up your due date so your credit card bill arrives right after you get your paycheck.
4. Automatic Online Payments
Paying bills online is a great way to avoid paying credit card late fees. Most major credit card companies are accepting credit card payments online. You can sign up for these services on the card company’s web site.
Make sure to choose a payment amount that automatically covers the minimum amount due on your credit card each month. You can always make additional payments later to keep your interest costs down.
5. Make Your Payment By Phone
Most major credit card companies will accept payments by phone. Be sure to ask because some of them will charge fees, ranging from $5 to $15 for the service.
But credit card late fees will cost you much more so it’s better to pay a small fee than end up with a late credit card payment fee. Just call the toll-free number on the back of your credit card.
You’ll be asked for a check number and the bank routing number, which is printed at the bottom of every check.
If you do get hit with a credit card late fee, try calling the credit card company to ask if they will waive the fee. Many credit card companies will waive late credit card late fees as a courtesy to customers with good payment records.