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couple working on their budget to avoid missing credit card payments

We can all agree that paying credit card bills is no fun. But paying them late — or worse, missing payments completely — is even less fun due to consequences including late fees, higher interest rates and lower credit scores.

And while you might think you have a legitimate reason for paying late, your creditors will beg to differ. We’re going to debunk the 5 most common excuses for missing payments and tell you how to overcome them.

Excuse #1: I don’t have enough money to pay all my bills.    couple working on their budget to avoid missing credit card payments

Running short each month means it’s time to evaluate your income and expenses and start following a structured budget. Chances are you have enough to pay all your bills each month but are not managing your money efficiently. It could also be a case of where your due dates fall. If your bills are all due around the same time, you may be in a ‘feast or famine’ cycle. Figure out where your due dates align in relation to your pay dates and see if you can spread things out more evenly over the month. Many creditors are willing to work with you to change your due dates; especially if it means they’ll get paid on time.

Excuse #2: I’m too busy to remember when they’re due.

We all seem to lead busier lives than ever before, but that’s not a valid reason to miss credit card payments. Fortunately, there are many ways to ensure you still pay your credit card bills on time, every month. You can try:

  • Setting up calendar reminders on your phone
  • Paying bills online or via apps
  • Getting payment reminder emails or text messages
  • Enrolling in automatic payments

Find what works for you and stick with it every month to avoid penalties like late fees, higher interest rates, reduced credit limits, and dings to your credit report.

Excuse #3: I can’t find the bill.

Closely related to excuse #2, losing track of your paper bills is not a valid reason to miss making payments on time. In fact, there’s really no reason to even receive paper bills in the mail anymore. Going paperless offers more convenience, less waste and less work for you. You won’t have to worry about filing or shredding your bills. Plus, you’ll be able to access your accounts online, any time to see recent activity, current balance and payment due dates. It also helps reduce the chance of identity theft or account fraud in case your mail gets stolen.

Excuse #4: I have so many bills, I can’t keep track.

If you’re at the point where the sheer amount of bills you have to pay every month is overwhelming, the first thing you’ll want to do is get organized. But beyond that, you’ll want to take some time to think about your spending habits and make a plan to start paying off some bills. There are several effective strategies to pay off credit card debt efficiently, including the avalanche and snowball methods.

If you’re stuck and would like help to review your debt and receive options for solutions to pay off your debt more quickly, our online credit counseling is a great place to start. It’s fast, free and confidential.

Excuse #5: I’d rather use the money for something else.

We’ve all been there. When it comes to paying bills, sometimes you just don’t feel like doing it. You’d rather use that money to do something fun or buy something that catches your eye. But deep down, you know that’s not a good idea. Putting off paying bills won’t make them go away, it just makes them worse. In addition to the late fees and potential ding on your credit score, you’ll have to pay twice as much next month. So be responsible, buckle down and make those credit card payments on time, every time. Your future self will thank you for it.

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