5 Tips To Prevent Credit Card Late Fees

Have you ever received your credit card statement and been shocked to discover that you were charged $30.00 for the previous month's late payment? You were sure that you'd sent your payment on time, but obviously the credit card company disagrees. Credit card late payments can become a financial disaster, especially if that extra few dollars puts you above your credit limit. Following are five tips to prevent credit card late fees.

Prevent Credit Card Late Fees: Read the Fine Print
Most people are too busy or too negligent to read the little pamphlet that arrives with every credit card. Read it! These are the issuer's guidelines and must be followed if you want to prevent credit card late fees. The pamphlet will explain grace periods and other policies which might affect how and when you pay your bill. For example, it might contain information as to how quickly the financial institution processes your payment. If they guarantee same-day processing, then you have a little bit more leeway. If not, however, then you'll have to be sure to get the payment in the mail as quickly as possible.

Prevent Credit Card Late Fees: Packaging the Payment
Many Americans pay all of their bills online or over the phone, so this tip doesn't apply to you if that is how you handle your finances. However, if you still write checks and send payments by mail, then you need to pay attention to how you package your payment. To avoid misdirection of your payment, always use the envelope provided by your credit card issuer. This identifies the mail as a payment, and will ensure that it gets to the receiving department. Secondly, make sure that the check is properly filled out and that you have written legibly. Print your credit card number under your personal information at the top of the check and include your telephone number if it isn't pre-printed.

Prevent Credit Card Late Fees: Adjust Your Due Date
Although you were probably assigned a due date for payments when you first opened your account, you can usually change it. Call your credit card issuer and ask that your due date be changed to the day after payday. You might also want to try and make sure all your bills arrive at the same time; that way, you can get it all done and not worry about any bills you might have forgotten. The most common reason for credit card late payments is simply forgetting to write the check.

Prevent Credit Card Late Fees: Automatic Deductions
If your credit card issuer provides this service, you might want to take advantage of it. An automatic deduction means that the credit card company takes a specified amount out of your checking account when the payment is due. You can set it to pay the bill in its entirety or just the minimum payment, whichever is convenient. That way, you know that your bill has been paid even though you didn't place the phone call or write the check.

Prevent Credit Card Late Fees: Set a Reminder
Think about the place in which you normally pay bills. At the desk in your home office? The kitchen table? Your favorite arm chair while you watch television? Wherever it is, write a note and place it in a visible location so that you remember to pay your credit card bill. Next time you sit down to pay the light and phone bills, you'll have a reminder that the credit card bill is also due.

Source: Associated Content