Did you know that a large portion of your creditworthiness is defined by your ability to make payments on time? If you take a look at your credit history from your credit report, you'll notice that each lender reports monthly if you made a payment, how much you owe now, and whether or not that payment was made on time. This directly impacts your credit score calculation.
Knowing that it is so important to make payments on time, but recognizing just how hard it can be, you may be wondering what steps you can take to ensure you are making on-time payments. These tips will put you in the position to pay on time more consistently.
Set Up Automatic Payments
The simplest of ways to ensure a payment is made on time every month is to set up automatic payments. Most lenders and recurring bills (such as utilities) will allow you to create an online account and link your checking account to it. Then, you can choose a date each month and the amount you wish to pay. It will automatically process the payment on that day, ensuring you are never late. The only drawback here is that you need to be sure the money necessary to pay the debt is in your checking account prior to the date that the lender pulls the funds from it.
Use an Online Calendar to Help
Another step to take involves the use of a digital calendar. You'll find plenty of options available, including the widely used Google Calendar. These are free to use. You can download the app directly to your phone. Once there, put a notation on the app for when each payment you have is due. Try to do this on the first of the month, every month. This way, you have a working plan in place. You can set up reminders within the app to send you a notification a day or two prior to your due date.
Keeping Organized Offline
For some, the thought of doing all of this online is overwhelming. You do not have to. Here are some tips for staying organized offline.
As mail comes in, place it all automatically into a drawer or basket. Make sure everyone in the home does the same thing.
If you get email reminders about a bill, print that off and place it in the same location.
At least twice a month go through the mail. Organize and make payments on each debt necessary. Record it in your checkbook. You can also use a planner to help you remember when each payment is due.
Why does it matter if you are paying your debts on time? Lenders want to make sure that anyone who borrows money is going to pay it back on time. One of the best ways to know is by your past payment history. It does not have to take a lot of time, but establishing a system like this will help you boost your credit score in the long term simply because you are making on-time payments every month.
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If you have questions on budgeting, improving your credit score, or need assistance getting the most out of your accounts, stop by or give us a call at 800-343-6328.
Each individual’s financial situation is unique and readers are encouraged to contact the Credit Union when seeking financial advice on the products and services discussed. This article is for educational purposes only; the authors assume no legal responsibility for the completeness or accuracy of the contents.