Did you miss a credit card payment deadline? This can be alarming, and you might think that you will immediately incur the wrath of your credit card company. Don’t panic. Do get on the phone and contact your credit card company to make arrangements.

What If You Just Forgot To Pay?

If you have the money to pay, it is simple enough to pay a few days late. Most credit card users have neglected to make a payment from time to time. If you call customer service, you can probably even get your finance company to waive the late fee. Most financing companies give their customer service representatives the authority to waive late fees once a year as a courtesy to their good customers.

What If You Don’t Have The Money To Pay Promptly?

Lots of people get into financial difficulty from time to time. When it comes to making a choice between paying an overdue electric bill and making a late credit card payment, you might reasonably choose to keep your lights on.

If you do not have the money to pay your credit card minimum balance right now, you should still get on the phone and explain the situation.
The company representative will probably ask you why you lack the money and when you think you can make a payment. If you are sure that you will have the money in a couple of weeks, it might be best to simply pay late, accept the late fee, and move on. If you cannot make your minimum payment in the near future, you should be able to work out other arrangements.

Financing companies would rather collect their money late than not at all. Most credit card companies can work with you to extend your payments. They may offer to extend reduced payment schedules or give you a month’s grace period. This arrangement might increase the overall amount you will have to pay to settle your debt, but you might be able to save some of your credit rating. Late payments can show up on your credit rating, but they are a lot better than reports that you made no payments at all.

Different companies have different rules, but it is almost always better to communicate than to simply avoid answering the phone when they try to contact you! If you stall long enough, your account might be turned over to a collection agency that will be more aggressive than your financing company. In time, they could even pursue legal action. That will certainly be more expensive that simply negotiating with your credit card company as early as possible.