As much as you try to use credit responsibly by paying your balance when due. You can still be faced with a missed credit card payment. This may be totally unintentional and it can happen to anybody. When you first notice a missed credit card payment, it’s best to act immediately in order to protect your credit score and you also have to ensure it doesn’t repeat itself. Here are ways you can handle a missed credit card payment.
Make the Payment as Soon as You Realize | Handling A Missed Credit Card Payment
Try to make your payment as soon as you realize you missed it. Also, do your best to pay before the beginning of the next billing cycle. Doing so will prevent the credit card company from reporting negative payment history to the credit bureaus, which can damage your credit score. Creditors typically report delinquent payments once they become at least 30 days late; so make your payment before then.
Call and Ask for Leniency | Handling A Missed Credit Card Payment
Many creditors are willing to waive the late fee if you’re not habitually late on payments. Contact your creditor, briefly explain why the payment was late, and ask that they waive the late fee. If the creditor denies your request, you have to pay the fee, and send your payment on time for future payments.
Can You Protect Your Interest Rate?
Credit card law specifies that creditors can’t impose a penalty rate increase unless you’re at least 60 days delinquent on your payment. So, you don’t have to worry about an interest rate hike after being a few days late on one payment unless you have a promotional rate. A creditor may be willing to waive a late fee but not the promotional rate.
How To Avoid Missing Payments
If the missed credit card payment is just happening the first time, that means you have a good system for remembering your due dates. On the other hand, if you notice that you’re forgetting payments often, you need to develop a system of reminders. You can set up reminders in your email or calendaring system (e.g., Microsoft Outlook or Gmail). If you rely on your cell phone, use your phone’s calendar or a third-party app to send reminders for your bill due dates.
Send an email to FollowUpThen.com to get an email reminder to make your payment (e.g., [email protected]); don’t include any specific personal information, and set the reminder a few days before your payment is due. Send the email from an address that is linked to your phone so you can receive notification alerts.
Finally, you can set up an automatic payment through your bank’s online bill pay to eliminate missed payments. Just make sure the payment is set for at least the minimum amount due and before the due date, or you’ll be hit with a late fee. Also, be sure that you have enough money in your account to cover the payment to avoid paying an overdraft, insufficient funds, or returned check fee.