People miss monthly bill due dates for all sorts of reasons, and during the holiday insanity, it’s very easy to forget about paying a bill. Unfortunately, one late payment negatively affects your credit score, and will always cost you more money in fees. Fortunately, according to our financial planner Orlando, these four tips will help you avoid ever missing a payment again.
Set Up An Online Account
At the outset, paying bills online may seem like a little hassle or even unsecure. Having to set up the account will take a few minutes, but it will save you time in the future by not having to get stamps, envelopes, and mailing checks multiple times a month. Almost every company or bank has the option to pay your bills online and it should be taken advantage of. By paying bills online it may actually help thwart identity theft as well because it will be more difficult for them to steal and change your information. The true benefit of paying online though, is the ease of making the payment. Once you’re set up, it takes about 2 minutes to pay a bill, and it can be done from anywhere there’s internet.
Sign Up for AutoPay
If you’re forgetful like me, autopay is the best solution for bill paying. If it’s a credit card, or a bill that changes monthly, set up autopay for the minimum amount. That way you’ll never overdraw. It isn’t as ideal, but it’s better than missing a payment. Otherwise, once autopay is enacted, just remind yourself when it happens to make sure you’ve got money in your account and you’re keeping track of the bills you’re paying. Once enrolled, you’ll never miss a payment again.
Make Weekly Payments
Credit card payments are typically due once a month, but this can potentially lead to a cash flow issue especially if it coincides with other bills. The best way to avoid debt is to just spend what money you have, but that’s often much more difficult than we’d all prefer. The solution: pay your credit card weekly. This will help balance your budget, keep the cash flow positive, and avoid late fees and altogether missing a payment. Just remember to check to make sure there aren’t penalties for early pay, and pay off chunks of the bill whenever possible, throughout the month.
Coordinate Bill Due Dates
Most lenders will allow you to change the bill due date from the arbitrary one they have assigned to you. If it is helpful, set all or most of your bill due dates to fall on the same day or within a few days of one another. That way when you’re reminded to pay one bill, you pay the others. The timing of this needs to be strategic, as It’s better to schedule this after your paycheck clears to ensure you have all the funds necessary.
Set Calendar Reminders
Bonus tip––that may go without saying––but in this day and age, everyone has a phone and they’re very powerful tools. They have calendars and reminders that are completely customizable and should be utilized to their fullest extent. Make monthly reminders that will notify you a day or two in advance to pay your bills. Late fees and struggling with missing payments are things of the past. With a few quick automations, you’ll never miss a bill payment again.