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Many people are late on their credit-card payments because they simply don’t have the cash. But an even more shocking number don’t pay because they just forget.
Some 448 of respondents in a survey of 2,000 people, released in September 2018, by personal-finance company NerdWallet said they had made a delinquent payment on their credit card debt, meaning the debt was 30 or more days overdue.
Of those that were delinquent, 35% said they paid late because they forgot to pay their bill. Another 33% said they paid late because they needed the money to pay for essentials. And 32% said it was because they had an unexpected emergency.
What happens when you’re late? Your creditor will charge a late fee. Your next billing statement will include a fee for the late/missed payments. Late fees typically range from $15 to $35, depending on your credit card’s late fee policy and whether it’s your first time being late in the past six months. You’ll be charged a late fee each month your payment is late or less than the minimum payment. If you’re account becomes 60 days past due, creditors don’t just penalize you with a late fee, they’ll often increase your interest rate to the penalty rate, the highest interest rate on your credit card.
So, if there is one thing you definitely don’t want to forget, it’s paying your credit card bill on time. One way is to set up reminders from your bank or credit-card company, which can send texts or email notifications when your bill is due. Depending on your bank, you may also be able to make automatic payments. Or ask Alexa or Google Home to set a reminder for you.