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Many people do not care to pay their bills on time. But this can have a significantly adverse impact on your financial health. Therefore, paying your bills on time is the foundation for maintaining stable financial health.
The main question, however, is when you should be paying your bills? When is it considered too late, and when is it considered too early? Ideally, you should be paying not too early nor too late. In this article, we will explain the correct time frame for making your payments, among other essential topics.
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You may not like paying your bills too early, but there are certain benefits of doing so, especially when you’re clearing credit card bills.
To understand this, let’s explore how credit works. The main factor determining your financial credibility among banks and credit unions is your “Credit Score.” This is greatly influenced by another thing called “credit utilization ratio.”
It is the ratio of how much you owe to how much credit you have left. So if you owe $4,000 and your total credit is $10,000, you have $6,000 left in your credit account. So your credit utilization ratio is 40%. Ideally, the lesser the ratio is, the better will be your credit score. By making payments early, you decrease the credit utilization ratio reported by your bank to the credit union.
Another reason you should pay your bills early is it reduces the interest rate. It’s worth noting that the interest you’re charged is dependent on the average daily balance in your account.
If you’re paying credit card bills regularly, then you must understand the importance of “Due Date.” It is the date by which you’re required to clear the due. If not the total amount, then the minimum payment amount. If not, expect to pay higher interest rates on the amount you owe.
Missing the due date also impacts your credit score. Payments that are not made within 30 days of being billed will be reported to the credit union. This will knock off some points from your credit score.
If you always find yourself paying your bills late, then you can take a few measures to improve in this regard. In the below section, we list eight tips for avoiding late payments.
The best way to avoid late payments is to use the Autopay facility. All the banks have this feature available to the users. When you activate Autopay, the banking system will deduct the amount from your account on a set date. This is usually days before the actual due date. This way, you’re never late on your bills. You can leave everything on auto-pilot. Just ensure you have a sufficient balance in your account every month to make the payments.
If you’re enjoying multiple services from a single provider, then you can check to see if you can consolidate the bills into one. For example, you might be paying phone bills, TV bills, and internet bills to a single business. Instead of paying for three different bills, you can pay a single payment to cover all the services. This way, you can eliminate accidental missed payment for a particular service.
A calendar is your best friend when it comes to knowing when something is needed to be done. You should maintain a calendar where you note down when the bills are due. Make a habit of updating and reviewing the calendar every day. This way, you’ll never miss a payment date.
People make the mistake of keeping their bills in their pocket, inside a book, or inside of their jacket. But if you never see it again, you’ll never know that a payment is due. It’s only when the bank charges you a certain late fee amount that you realize a missed has been missed. To avoid this issue, you must stay organized. Keep all of your bills in one place. It’s better if you can get e-bills issued to your email instead. This way, you have all the bills in one place. At the end of the month, you can review them and make the payments accordingly.
The billing cycle is the time frame between your last statement was issued, and when your upcoming statement will be issued. This is usually between 30 days and 50 days.
If you’re making recurring payments for a service, then you must know about your billing cycle. The more payments you have to make, the more billing cycles you have to take care of.
With a smartphone, you can make payments from anywhere in the world. So it’s essential to set up the payment methods on your phone. Usually, you’d have to install an app or e-wallet. Then you can start making the payments from your mobile.
So even if you’re not in a bank or front of your PC, you’ll never miss the payment dates.
Your bank statement contains all the transactions for a month. By reviewing this document, you’ll know when you made a purchase and when you’re expected to make the payments if you availed credit. A bank statement will also reveal any charges you might be paying that you’re not aware of.
Finally, you can have your friend, fiancé, brother, or mother to monitor your payments. You can hand over the bills to her and ask her to see if you’re paying all of them on time. If not, they must inform you about the same. This way, you have someone continually pushing you to clear your payments on time.
As a responsible user, you must pay the bills on time. By doing it consistently, you make yourself eligible for any exclusive offers that your bank might have for financially responsible customers. So you’re essentially benefiting your future self by clearing your due on time.