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Alamo Associates discuss when a credit card payment is considered late

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Photo Credit: Kittiphan

In the midst of juggling multiple bills a month, it isn’t uncommon to forget what day your credit card payments are due. This is especially true for credit cardholders with multiple cards. Despite your best intentions, missing a credit card bill can happen every now and then. However, this type of mistake almost always comes with consequences. Depending on the type of card you have, you may or may not be affected by late payment fees.

When Is a Credit Card Payment Officially Late?

Credit card payments typically are due on the same day every month. Though the time will vary depending on the credit card company, these payments often have to be made by 5 p.m. or by the end of the day. If you make a payment on your credit card before or by the deadline on the due date, it cannot be considered late.

Other card issuers often set later due dates for cardholders that pay their bills online. If this is the case for you, you’ll likely have even more time to pay. Oftentimes, cardholders have until 11:59 p.m. EST to pay their credit card bills online. Be sure to review the specific terms of your card to determine what time you’re expected to pay off your credit card bill.

Late Payment Deadlines Vary

Late payment deadlines vary according to the time zone. When reading the details of their credit card information, cardholders should be sure to make a note of the time zone they are in. Many cardholders live in a different time zone than their card issuer. If this is the case for you, be sure to factor in this time difference when paying your bill.

To illustrate, cardholders on the west coast may mistake the 11:59 p.m. late fee cutoff time to be 11:59 p.m. PT. In reality, if the card issuer is operating off of EST, this late-night payment would be considered three hours too late.

If you are worried about different time zones, be sure to try to pay their bills ahead of time. This way, you’ll never have to guess whether or not your payment is going to be considered late.

Special Circumstances for Bill Deadlines

In addition to the due date and time zones, there are other factors that affect whether or not a credit card payment is considered late. There may be special circumstances when cardholders wonder if they’re still obligated to pay their credit card bills on a holiday or on the weekend. In certain situations, credit card payments may be considered to be on time if they are made the following business day.

If your credit card’s due date falls on a day that the issuer can’t receive mail like a national holiday or a Sunday, a mail-in payment won’t be considered late until after the deadline on the next business day. Keep in mind that if you’re mailing a payment, the card issuer will check the day it is received not postmarked. Even if the payment is sent prior to the due date, any delay in the mail can result in a late payment.

Phone payments and online payments must always be paid by the initial due date. If these payments are made on the next business day, they will be marked as late.

Delays in Payment Posting

Even with the convenience of digital payments or payments, and on-time payments, your payment may still be considered late. It often takes up to three days for a phone or online payment to be processed and posted in your account. If you make a payment the day your bill is due and your processing time is more than one day, it’s likely that you’ll end up having to pay a late fee.

If you’re unaware of the time it takes for your bank to process your payments, it’s better to make your credit card payments as early as possible. With this in mind, many card issuers allow cardholders to expedite their payments on their due date to avoid any late fees. In order to make an expedited payment, cardholders have to speak with a live agent. If you’re anxious to avoid any extra processing time, call your credit card issuer on the due date. This way, your payment will be posted that date and you’ll avoid any late fees brought on by excessive processing time.

Tips to Prevent Late Payments

One of the most effective ways to know that a credit card payment isn’t late is to pay it early or on time. If you typically find it challenging to stick to a regular payment schedule for your credit cards, keep the following tips in mind:

  • Make One Monthly Payment

    If you’re tired of having to pay off multiple credit cards, consider working with Alamo Associates to turn multiple credit card bills into one. With Alamo Associates, you can prioritize your bills into one monthly payment with low-interest rates. This way, you’ll reduce the risk of ever paying another late fee again.

  • Change the due date

    If you keep missing your current due date, it may be best to ask to have the date changed. Many cardholders even prefer to schedule multiple payments’ due dates around the same time so they can pay everything all at once.

  • Set payment reminders

    Payment reminders are another way cardholders can make sure they never forget a due date again. These reminders can be sent as email or alerts days before payments are due.

Paying credit card bills on time is essential to maintaining a healthy credit score and avoiding late fees. Make sure you’re making the best financial decisions for your future by keeping this guide for late credit card payments in mind

augusta free press
augusta free press