Missing a bill payment can be detrimental to your financial health. Not only can a few tardy payments cause you to lose money with late fees, they could also negatively affect your credit score. This means it could become harder to get loans or credit cards in the future. Also, if you have a variable interest rate, which is common for credit cards, your interest payments may rise. If this happens, you will be making higher interest payments on money that you have already borrowed.
Luckily, there are plenty of tools that can help you keep track of your bills so that you do not miss a payment. Here are some of the best options for getting organized so that you are always on time when it comes to paying your bills.
Set up auto payments
One of the most straightforward ways to make certain that your bills are consistently paid on time is to set up “Autopay.” Service and utility providers may allow you the chance to do this on their websites. Your bank may also provide this service. Another option is to use your credit cards. Automatic credit card bill pay can protect you from unexpected overdrafts (when the automatic payment is more money than you have in your bank). The catch is that you have to pay off all of your credit card balance within a month so that you do not incur any interest payments.
Use your banking tools to set alerts
If you do not like the idea of Autopay, you can take a more-manual approach. Your bank, your service provider or a third-party site like Mint can provide an alert service that will send an email or text message when your due dates are approaching. This will give you a reminder that it is time to pay your bill.
Even if you set up Autopay, you can still use alerts to remind you to verify that all your payments have gone through. This can be especially important for bills like a cell phone bill or power bill that may be different amounts each month.
Pay your bills on the same date
You could set aside one day after payday to pay all your bills for the month (whether they are due or not). You will be less likely to forget a bill because you will be handling all of the cheque writing at the same time. You will only have to set one alert per month if you adopt this strategy.
What if you do not have the money in the bank to make your next payments? If this happens, you should consider getting an online personal loan. Lenders can approve these loans quickly because they do not require a complete credit check. You merely have to supply a bank statement and proof on income. The process can take a matter of hours, so you can wait until a day or two before the bill due date and still get the money in time to make the payment. Then, once you get your next pay cheque, you can repay the loan and get back to your usual bill payment strategy.