What Happens When You Don't Pay Your Credit Card Bills On Time?

What happens when you don't pay your credit card bills on time? If you don't pay your credit card bills on time, you will subject yourself to an intensive collections effort from the part of the credit card issuer.

Just ask any financial expert and they will tell you that paying your bills on time is one of the most important things you can do. The more consistent you are the better your credit score will be. That means you can buy more of what you want when you're ready. Good credit should be safeguarded. Diane Wilkman, CEO and President of Springboard, a credit counseling service, says do everything in your power to protect it. This starts with paying your credit card bills on time. Paying late will cost you big.


"You will subject yourself to an intensive collections effort from the part of the credit card issuer. Now sometimes if your interest is too high, but your credit scores are still very good, then you can do what they call balance surfing, and transfer your balance to a low rate offer. That can make sense to a lot of people. We call it balance surfing, but you've got to read the fine print on that and stay on top of it," Wilkman says.




Think ahead with your finances. Wilkman says it's a good idea to have consistent communication with your credit card company. If something is ever to come up where you can't pay on time, or can't pay as much, they will be willing to work with you most of the time. Wilkman says just don't sit back and think there is nothing you can do. She says people make this mistake way too often, and their credit reports are affected. Once your credit report has been tainted, it is hard to fix it.

"If you know that an obstacle is coming up, like you're going to lose your job or get laid off or something like that, then you need to contact your creditor right away and make arrangements; most will do so and will work out a hardship plan with you," Wilkman says.

Some good tips on keeping your credit up to par: Make timely payments, check your credit report consistently, keep control of your debt, and avoid excessive inquiries. Wilkman says excessive inquiries make creditors think you are trying to open a lot of credit cards at once. This can count against you on your credit report. Car and mortgage lenders look at this in a negative light. They want to see that you are responsible and in control of your money. Once they get a good idea of who you are, the better deals they can offer you.

Making credit card payments on time is a big step in keeping your credit score where you want it. It's one of the most important things you can do for yourself and family, Wilkman says. If you can consistently keep all of your credit cards in check, you are on your way to having a superior credit score. And as Wilkman says, there's nothing better than getting what you need, when you want it, on time, right now. Good credit affords you that luxury.

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