Credit card bills are never fun to pay, but they cannot be ignored. And, as it turns out, you may have more control in the situation than you think. You can curb your shopping, read the fine print, make use of the rewards or advantages, change your credit limit, transfer your balances, switch to online banking, check the charges regularly or even change your bill's due date. In fact, it can be a good idea to reach out and make a change if your credit card experience isn't going as well as it could be.
1. To spread out your bills
If your credit card bill comes at the same time as other major payments like your mortgage, student loan or auto loan, you may experience a serious drain on your finances. You may want to spread out your bills a bit.
You can ask you credit card company to move your credit card deadline to come a few weeks after those other big bills. It can also reduce the temptation to make only partial payments on your card, adding more interest you will have to pay over time. (You can calculate how long it will take you to pay off your credit card debt with this calculator.)
2. To simplify all of your due dates
On the other hand, you may find yourself having trouble remembering all your bill due dates and may want to align the date with your other bill deadlines. For example, if you have two cards from the same or even different providers, you may get frustrated or confused when statements come separately. Consider simplifying the process by having all the credit card payment dates line up for the same day each month.
A missed credit card payment can do major credit score damage, especially if you have a pristine payment history. (You can see how your payment history is affecting your credit scores for free on Credit.com.)
3. To line it up with payday
If your card statement is coming at a time when your accounts are running low, you may be struggling to make your payments. No matter how big your bill is by the end of the month, you probably need the help of your paycheck. You can move your bill's due date so that it better aligns with your income schedule.
How to make it happen
Are you convinced that making a payment date switch is right for you? After careful consideration and budget observations, you can try resetting the due date online by logging into your account and accessing customer service. If you can't do this online, try calling the customer service number on the back of your card.
Keep in mind that your first bill on the new schedule may feature some extra interest charges on any balances being carried over. You should also know that a new deadline isn't guaranteed -- especially if you don't have a good payment history with your card provider, have already made a payment-date change in the past three months or are requesting an unavailable date. Some credit card companies won't let you move your due date to the 29th, 30th or 31st of the month because not every month has these dates.
If you aren't happy with your current credit card payment deadlines, you can be proactive and make the change. The most important thing is making sure you can make your payments in full and on time, whether that requires deadline manipulation or a change to your own budgeting system.