Women are more likely than men to skip credit card payments, according to a 2018 study from CreditCards.com.
The poll, which surveyed 1,000 adults, found that 48 percent of women hadn’t paid their credit card bill on time at least once compared to 35 percent of men. Overall, 42 percent of people said they have neglected to pay on time.
Across the board, people tend to skip credit card payments for four primary reasons, according to the survey:
- 60 percent said they just forgot
- 35 percent said they didn’t have enough money
- 13 percent said they were too busy
- 11 percent said they were traveling.
Women may be more apt to skip credit card payments, according to CreditCard.com’s report, because they generally make less. Female workers take home 82 percent of what their male colleagues make thanks to a gender pay gap that has historically set women behind in their work earnings.
But here’s the thing: A skipped credit card payment can add up to many more headaches than simply making the time — and setting aside the money — to write those checks before the bills are past due.
When you skip a credit card payment, you could face costly penalties, including an increase in your interest rate and a drop in your credit score, which could make it more difficult to borrow money to buy a house or car, for instance.
If you find yourself skipping credit card payments than you’d like, here are five tips to get them paid on time:
Five Ways to Ensure You Don’t Skip Credit Card Payments
Put together a due date calendar
Make a list of all of your bills and their due dates and put them together on a single calendar that you refer to on a regular basis.
An old-fashioned wall calendar will work just fine if that’s the calendar you use daily to keep track of family activities and other events. An online calendar also works well and could provide automated notifications to let you know that a bill needs to be paid soon.
Ask for a due date change
Once you have a calendar with your due dates, take a look. Are they all on the same day? Or, are they scattered across multiple days throughout the month? Could there be a better system for you?
Having all of your bills due around the same time each month could work well if it means you’ll remember to pay everything on time. But, if you’re cash-strapped, it could mean you struggle each month to cover all of them, especially if it doesn’t coincide with when you receive your paycheck. This can result in the need to skip credit card payments.
Luckily, most credit card companies will allow you to change your due dates. Contact your credit provider to find out how you can make some changes.
Determine your budget
Of course, you’ll need to pay some bills, such as your rent, mortgage or utility bills, in full each month. With credit cards, there is a minimum monthly payment that you’ll need to make. While it is always better to pay your credit card bills off in full each month to avoid costly interest charges, covering at least the minimum will ensure you don’t face other penalties.
Still, if you are regularly paying only the minimum payment, it’s time to take another look at your budget to see where you can shave your spending, so you can lower those credit card bills and pay them in full.
Set up online bill pay
Online bill pay will ensure you don’t skip credit card payments because the payments will be taken directly from your bank account. You’ll be able to set up the amounts and dates for when the money will be automatically withdrawn from your account to pay your bills. Of course, you’ll need to ensure that there is enough money in your account each month to cover all of your bills.
Consider taking a credit card break
It’s hard to fully pay off a credit card bill when the balance keeps going up because you continue to use them. If you’re regularly spending more on your credit cards than you can afford to pay off each month, it might be time to take a break from them. A hiatus from credit card spending will allow you to pay off your existing bills and help you sort out what you can afford to maintain in your budget.
There’s no doubt that credit cards come in handy, especially in a world where we can buy just about everything online. But letting those bills pile up can be a costly mistake. The sooner you take control of your credit card spending the better.
The team at CESI is committed to helping you make wise financial decisions and to helping you understand how to get out, and stay out of debt. For a free debt analysis, contact us and find out how we can help.