While a credit card can be an exceptionally useful and convenient tool, some consumers fail at credit card management and wind up drowning in excessive debt. One of the easiest ways to avoid accumulating too much debt is to stop making late payments. Late payments are one of the easiest ways for credit card companies to make a profit from their customers. Late charges, often quite expensive ones, are applied to the customer’s account. These late charges are incorporated into the existing principal balance, and this means that the late charges themselves will start to accrue interest each month. If you are having trouble making on-time credit card payments, here are a few tips that may help.
Create a Payment Calendar
The easiest way to remember about a credit card payment is to organize a payment calendar for yourself. If you have a smart phone or a mobile device with a calendar application, you can create due dates for different credit card bills. You can even set up the device to give you an alert or alarm when a payment is due.
Set Up Automatic Payments
If you have a bank account with bill pay services, you can set up your account to make automatic payments on the credit card payment due date each month. Some credit cards even have recurring payment applications that will make an automatic withdrawal from your bank account a day or two before the due date. If you can afford to do this, it’s an easy way to guarantee that you never miss a payment.
Don’t Spend More Than You Have
If you truly want to avoid missing a credit card payment, be sure to spend less than you have in the bank. Many consumers believe that this defeats the purpose of having a credit card, but if you only charge what you have in the bank, you’ll never be caught at the end of the month with insufficient funds to cover minimum payments.
Set Limits below Credit Limits
Even if your credit card limit is quite high, try setting a personal limit for yourself that is below the limit on your credit card. This will help to prevent you from maxing out a credit card and experiencing monthly payments that are too high.
Have a Credit Card Management Partner
If you’re still having trouble making on-time payments, you might consider asking a friend or family member to help keep you accountable.