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When should I pay my credit card bill?

minute read

    Most people pay their credit card bill on the due date, but always confirm the payment cut-off time for online or check payments with the issuer to ensure your payments aren't late. Making late payments could result in late fees or a derogatory mark on your credit report.

    Why paying bills on time is important

    If you're early, you're on time. This motivational mantra, often used by military instructors, is a good rule of thumb for making sure your credit card payments are made on time. Get your payment out early to avoid fees and additional interest.

    Paying your credit card bills late can also affect your credit score. Late payments are reported to the credit bureaus by credit card issuers. The frequency of that reporting varies based on the institution issuing your card.

    Why paying early can be a good idea

    Another benefit to paying early is that it may lower your credit utilization ratio. This is one of the main variables used when calculating your overall credit score. It's also good to remember that interest on credit card balances accumulates daily, so paying early may save you money.

    Why paying more than once a month can be a good idea

    On that same note, making payments more than once a month may lower your interest payments and your credit utilization rate. If you're having difficulty making the entire monthly payment at once, break it down into multiple payments to make it easier if you can.

    When your credit card balance is reported to the bureaus

    Monitor your credit reports to make sure that any credit card reporting is accurate. There are services you can subscribe to that will do this for you. If any entries are incorrect, you can contest them with the credit bureau and request that they remove them.

    Other credit card tips

    Staying on top of credit card payments is a simple matter of being vigilant about your spending and putting aside the money to pay your bill every month. The best option is to put your monthly payments on autopay so you're not late.

    Paying more than the minimum payment due every month is recommended so you can minimize interest charges. Paying the entire balance every month will eliminate interest charges completely. If you make sure you pay the entire balance every month, you'll be able to control your spending and only use credit cards when necessary.

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