Prevent late payments on your credit card

One of the easiest ways to take your credit card from a convenience to a concern is to make a late payment or miss payments altogether. A late credit card payment will reflect poorly in your payment history and credit rating, particularly if it becomes a pattern. You’ll also start to accrue credit card interest that can make any existing financial struggles even more difficult.

Here are some tips to avoid finding yourself in credit card debt.


Consider setting up automatic payments

Probably the easiest step to take is to set up automatic payments from your chequing account to your credit card each month. This way, as long as you have sufficient funds in your account on each due date, you know that the payments will be made on time. To set these up, just register for online banking. Once registered, you can log into your account, view statements and balance information, and set up automatic payments.


Create reminders to make manual payments

However, some people opt for manual credit card payments because of the monthly fluctuation in their bills. For example, if you paid for an expensive vacation using your credit card, the total bill due that month may exceed the money you have available in your account.

If you find your spending or income is not predictable enough for automatic payments, there are other ways to manage your manual payments. For example:

  • Set an alarm in your mobile phone to remind you of your credit card payment at the same time each month
  • Take advantage of alerts or notification services from the bank
  • Elect for paper or paperless statements, whichever works better for you, to ensure your credit card payment is top of mind


Pay more than the minimum balance

With your plan in place to avoid late payments, the next thing to consider is reducing credit card interest charges. If you pay less than the statement amount in a month (or if you take cash advances or make balance transfers or write cheques on your credit card account), you will incur interest charges. This is calculated based on the credit card’s annual interest rate. If you pay less than the full balance, this interest rate will be charged on the balance, from the transaction date.


Familiarize yourself with interest charges and fees

All credit cards come with detailed rates and fees disclosures so you can be a knowledgeable cardholder. Learn more about CIBC’s credit card rates and fees. Be sure to review these so that you’re not surprised when your statement comes. Figuring that amount into your monthly budget will put you in the best financial scenario. If have more questions about paying your credit card bill, you can contact a CIBC customer service representative at 1-800-465-4653.

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