Late Payments: Personal Finance Advice

If you’re like most people you probably have a few different payments you send out every month. Between utilities, loan payments, and credit cards it can be easy to miss a payment once in a while. So what do you do when you realize that you forgot to send a payment to someone and it’s late?

The worst thing you can do is ignore the problem. Don’t just decide that you should send in a double payment next month because it just doesn’t work like that. That’s like trying to cover up a snag on your pantyhose by ripping them twice as much.

Here is what you should do the very moment you realize you have forgotten to send in a payment:

Rent or mortgage: Call your landlord or mortgage lender immediately. Find out the fastest way to get a payment in. Be prepared to pay a fee not only for the late payment but also for the quick payment method.

Utility: Most utility companies are pretty liberal with payments, especially if you’re usually on time. Call the utility company and make the payment over the phone if possible, although some utility companies might just have you pay it all off with the next statement.

Loan payment: Contact the lender right away and apologize profusely for the late payment. Bring the account up to date by the quickest method possible, and if you’ve never been late before you might want to ask for a reversal of the late fee that’s probably already on your account.

Credit cards: It’s a little known fact that most credit card companies grant cardholders a grace period beyond the due date printed on the statement. Go online or call the company right away and make the payment and you may be able to avoid a late fee if you catch your mistake before the grace period ends.

After you’ve brought your account back up to date you should consider it all a lesson learned. Fashionista, you have to stay on top of your bills if you have any hopes of keeping your personal finances straight. Besides, late fees are expensive. Wouldn’t you rather spend the money on something fabulous?