No one likes to have debt, and it’s certainly not an enjoyable experience. However, with credit cards, student loans and car payments, it’s very likely that you have at least a little bit of debt in your life. When you don’t pay your bills on time, you put yourself at risk for accruing more debt through late fees or having your credit scores drop. How can you make sure that your debts are always paid on time?
The best way to avoid forgetting about paying your debts is to have an automatic payment plan set up. You’ll input your checking account information, and the money will be taken out on a monthly basis.
If you’re going to set up automatic payments, you want to make sure that the money is actually in there each month. If it’s through an account that always has money in it, then you have no problem. However, when you transfer money into the account every month for bills, make sure that it is all there before the payment date. Some people might have trouble remembering this aspect of it too. Therefore, set up automatic transfers with your bank accounts. Many banks offer this online service. You could also see if your bank offers an automatic bill payment to the loan or credit card service provider.
Set Your Schedule
Some people are uncomfortable with the idea of having automatic payments because they actually like to see the money in their checking accounts before it’s sent off to pay bills. When that is the case and you are a forgetful person, you need to invest in a calendar or planner that you’ll check every day. Mark off the dates on which bills are due. In fact, it may actually be better to mark off a date a few days in advance. You want to be sure to give yourself a grace period in the event that you forget to check your calendar one day.
Awareness of Rules
You always need to know what the rules are. For example, some loans or credit cards might provide a grace period. You should also know what happens if you pay your bill on the exact date that it’s due. It will likely take a few days for the payment to process, so find out if the late payment fee will be reversed in these cases. Bank transfers are not always done on the same day either. If you do it online, it is much more likely to happen immediately. However, if it’s late at night, then you might need to wait for the next day for the money to be in the account.
Whatever you do, do not start paying your debts late. Debt already has an adverse effect on your credit score, and late payments will only make it worse. Basically, you need to take responsibility for your actions. You are the one who is in control over whether or not your payments arrive on time.
This is a guest article by Joshua Anderson. Kim Tanner writes about finance, self help & finding insurance quotes at www.grouphealthinsurance.org.