How to Avoid Paying Credit Card Late Fees

July 13, 2018

How to Avoid Paying Credit Card Late Fees

Upon signing up for a credit card you are provided a list of fees, all of which have the potential to come into play at some point in the future.

While you have the opportunity to avoid late fees, this is often easier said than done.

A late fee is exactly what it sounds like: a fee your credit card company charges if you don’t make the minimum payment by the due date.

Legally, credit card issuers are not permitted to charge more than $25 the first time you’re late. However, the maximum fee jumps to $35 in the event that you’ve had another late payment within the past six months.

While this isn’t the biggest fee, it’s money you don’t want to spend. Here are five tips to avoid paying credit card late fees:

1. Have a Payment Plan

Since your credit card issuer has the right to charge a late fee if you’re one day past due, you can’t afford to wait until the last minute to remit payment.

Implement a plan that allows you to make your payment several days in advance of the due date. Even if you’re paying electronically, you don’t want to wait until the last minute, as it can take several days for the payment to arrive.

2. Change Your Due Date

You may come to find that your due date doesn’t fit into your overall financial plan. Fortunately, it only takes one call to your credit card company to make a change.

Tip: choose a due date shortly after your payday, as this gives you the best possible chance of paying your balance in full.

3. Set Reminders

Did you know that most credit card companies will remind you when your bill is due?

From a text message to an email, you can sign up for alerts that keep you informed of your due date and balance.

With reminders in place, you never have to worry about your due date coming and going without making the required payment.

4. Schedule Automatic Payments

With an automatic payment, there is no question about whether you will pay your bill on time. As long as you have enough money in your linked bank account, everything is taken care of for you.

When setting up automatic payments, you can choose to pay:

  • The full balance
  • The minimum payment
  • A fixed amount

5. Ask for it to be Removed

Even the most financially responsible consumers make mistakes every now and again.

If you come across a late fee on your credit card statement, don’t assume that it’s best to pay it and move on. You can contact your issuer to explain yourself and request that the fee is removed.

If you have a long history of paying on time, a customer service representative may be able to waive the charge. All it takes is a quick phone call to see if this is a possibility.

Final Thoughts

With this advice, you’ll find it much easier to avoid paying credit card late fees. Not only will this save you money, but it will also help improve your credit score. What more could you want?

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