Have you ever been late on a loan repayment? It seems just at the time that you need it least, banks and other lenders slap hefty charges on your account. This is the last thing you need, especially when youre finding it difficult to keep up with your repayments. Its like a spiral, youre late on a payment, so you get a late fee, then the fee makes it harder to meet your next payment so you get another late fee, or a late fee from one of your other accounts. Before you know it all your money is going on late fees instead of on the payments themselves.
So how do you deal with this situation?
Well the first thing to know is that you can never be charged a late fee for being late on repaying an existing late fee. For example, suppose you owe $100 on a credit card. If you were late you might incur a $20 late fee. On your next month youll still owe the $100 plus interest, but youll also owe the $20 late fee. If you only have enough for the $100 plus interest, pay that, and tell the lender in your bill payment that its for your regular payment. Youll still owe the $20 late fee, but you cant be charged a late fee for not repaying it on time.
So a piece of advice if you’ve got more than one account, is to try and stay up to date on all but the late one. Dont be late on one account this month, and another account next month. Stay late on the same account for both months. The reason for this is that the account youre late on can only charge you so many fees. If you let yourself get late on different accounts, each of them can slap you with fees.
What You Should Do If You Cant Pay On Time
If you think youre going to be late on a repayment, the best thing you can do is call the creditor and tell them. This is a lot better than if you simply allow the bill to go unpaid without any explanation. Many creditors will allow you to reschedule your payments, or give you extra time without charging you for this. They prefer to work with you on getting the bill paid, rather than letting the bill go unpaid and leaving them in the dark as to your intention.
If the creditor youre going to be late on doesnt allow you to reschedule the payments, you might want to try with another of your creditors, and then let that one get a bit late instead.