Pay Your Bills on Time

    If you're new to the idea of credit scoring, you might have no idea how damaging just one late payment can be. Lenders are looking for any sign that you might default, and a late payment is often a good indicator that you're in financial trouble  Because payment history make up more than a third of the typical credit score, ensuring that your bills get paid on time-all the time- is essential.

    Now, for those of you panicking over that credit card bill you sent in two days past due date: You can stop sweating. Normally a payment has to be at least 30 days overdue for a creditor to report it to the bureaus. That doesn't mean paying even a day late is a good idea, of course. Creditors increasingly are eager to slap their customers with late fees and jack up interest rates in response to late payments. Some have moves from due dates to due times; for example, a payment is considered late if it isn't in their hands by 1 p.m. on the date it's due.

   Furthermore, you can face higher interest rates on all your credit cards and your insurance policies if you fall behind with even one creditor. Many lenders and insurers periodically review their customers' credit reports and adjust their rates based on what they find.

 

How to Make Sure Your Bills Get Paid on Time, All the Time.

    You are responsible for paying your bills whether you get a statement or not. You need to keep track of what you owe to whom and make sure that everyone gets paid. Keeping track of these details also can help you detect identity theft. Some criminals like to steal credit card statement out of residential mailboxes. The bolder ones file a change of address form with the post office so that your mail gets redirected, allowing the bad guys to sort through it at their leisure.

   To stay on top of what you owe and when, you should make a list of every bill you must pay each month and the date it's due. Then list any bills that are due less regularly. If you really want to protect your credit, though, you should take further steps to avoid human error. The more of your bills that you  put on automatic, the less worries you'll have about late payments, late charges, and dings on your bill.

There are a few options:

Automatic payments

Online Bill Pay

Just Pay Your Bills As They Come In