Ways to Avoid Credit Card Late Fees

by : Keishon Martin



Nobody likes late fees and being late will cost you thousands of dollars. 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 very quickly.

Now, 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, from getting your hard earned money in their pockets.

As this can be one of the easiest ways to avoid a late fee, is to just pay your bill each and every month by paying online, sending in a check, money order, or other type of payment to your respective credit card company. 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. All of these guidelines must be followed precisely if you want to guarantee that your payment will go through as you planned.

Most 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 for that date and time. Many issuers also stipulate that payments must arrive in the preprinted envelope sent to the consumer.

With the Fair Credit Billing Act in place, it requires issuers to credit payments the day they are received, each issuer is allowed to set specific payment guidelines. So if any of the guidelines are not met, then the issuer can take as many as five days to receive credit.

A 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. Also consider all the independent companies out there that will allow you to do the same thing, no matter who you bank with. Depending on whose service you use, the fee's associated with it may vary. If you use these types of services make sure you know how much you will be charged then decide if that is what you wanna do.

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.

You can 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 on-time.

How about paying 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 each.

Other express methods may include. 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 wrong address in which can end up with more fees to pay.