Several factors determine creditworthiness; and if you’re looking to apply for a mortgage or another type of loan, you can demonstrate creditworthiness by always making your credit card payment on time. Credit cards are one of the easiest types of credit accounts to obtain. You can build a solid credit history with credit cards and this opens the door to other financing opportunities. But if you start a pattern of late payments, this can trigger late fees and a lower credit score.
Credit card companies typically only report delinquencies to the bureaus when payments are 30 days past due. However, the majority of companies charge a late fee if payment aren’t received by the due date. Learn the various payment options offered by your credit card company and then take steps to ensure a timely arrival.
- Regular Snail Mail: Open your credit card statement and you’ll find a return envelope. If you prefer regular snail mail, use this envelope to mail your check to your credit card company each month. Don’t forget the stamp and always mail payments about seven days before the due date. This ensures a timely delivery and you alleviate any late fees. But if your credit card is issued by a local bank, skip the post office and deliver your payment to the bank in-person. You can submit your payment anytime up until the cutoff time on your due date.
- Online Payment: The majority of credit card companies have online websites that allow account holders to manage their accounts. Take advantage of this free service and sign up for online account management. Not only can you check your balance and recent purchases, but you can schedule a payment from your home or work computer. Determine the amount you want to pay, the date and then enter your payment method. Schedule your payment by a specific time and it will post the same day. Online payment systems aren’t perfect and problems do occur. Always write down your confirmation number or print your payment confirmation. Keep a record of this information until the funds clear your account.
- Automated Draft: Not only can you schedule payments through your credit card company’s website, you can also set up automated payments through your bank. With non-automated online payments, you have to log onto the card company’s site and schedule each payment. But if you enroll in automated billpay, the credit card company will automatically draft your minimum payment (or other pre-selected amount) from your bank account each month on the same day. This is perfect if you frequently forget or overlook your due dates. If you select this payment method, make sure that the money is available in your account. Depending on your bank or credit card company, you can receive email reminders of an upcoming draft. Failure to deposit the appropriate funds in your account can result in additional fees.
- Telephone Payment: If you forgot to pay your credit card bill and then realize that it’s due within a few hours, there’s also the option of making a credit card payment over the telephone. Call the customer service line to schedule your payment. Payments usually credit the same day. However, some credit card companies charge a convenience fee for telephone payments.