It's happened to most of us—we get busy and forget to make a credit card payment by the due date. These lapses in memory can end up being costly. Most credit card companies charge a fee for late payments, usually between $25 and $35. If you routinely make late payments, you could be spending over $400 each year just on late fees!
Luckily, these frustrating fees are completely avoidable. There are plenty of easy ways to make sure you never miss a payment. Here are three of the best:
If you're one of the two-thirds of Americans who have a smartphone, download an app or two that will help you remember your bills. There are hundreds if not thousands of smartphone apps that can help you pay your bills on time.
Bills Reminder for Android phones and Billminder for iphone are both straightforward, easy apps that allow you to enter your bill information. The app sends notifications when a bill is due. Manilla is another popular smartphone app that helps you manage your statements and alerts you to credit card bill due dates. Mint is a popular personal finance app that also alerts you to due dates.
When choosing an app, make sure you consider the features, interface, and security. If you prefer a simple, straightforward bill reminder app, then you might get turned off from a complicated app with loads of features you’ll never use.
If you tend to forget your bills, set up reminders so you know when your credit card payment is due. Get in the habit of entering the due date in your calendar the moment you get your bill. If you use Google calendars, you'll receive a notification on your phone or via email the day the bill is due.
If you don't have a smartphone or phone with a calendar option, most credit card companies will also email or text bill payment reminders when your statement is available or your bill is due.
Even in an automated world, there’s no reason not to go with the tried and true methods. Hang a calendar on your fridge, then write down due dates as they come. For this option to be effective, however, you have to be diligent with writing due dates on your calendar.
Just like the name implies, automatic bill pay works by automatically paying your bills for you. This way, you’ll never forget a payment. Most banks offer this feature. Setting it up is pretty straightforward—just go to your bank’s website and enter in your payment information, due dates, and the amount to be debited each month.
If your pay off your balance each month, you can still use automatic payments. You simply set preferences to pay off the balance in full, pay the minimum amount, or a specific amount of your choosing.
Whether you’re tech-savvy and want to use apps and automated payments or you’d prefer to write yourself a reminder, there’s a system for everyone to ensure your bills are on time.