This topic is covered in-depth online, but there is a lot of truth in people ruining their credit scores due to missing monthly payments and paying their credit card bills past the due date.  The late fees alone can accumulate and the amount of interest can grow.  In a short amount of time you might not even be able to pay the minimum monthly payment.  If you don’t stay on top of your monthly payments, your credit card balances could quickly start growing and ruin your credit and credit score.

It can sometimes be difficult to make your payments on time. Below, you’ll find some pointers to help you manage your monthly credit card payments.

If a financial emergency arises and you aren’t able to pay your credit card statement, you’ll be penalized with fees and compounding interest.  Even though you may feel your emergency is a good reason for a late payment, your creditors won’t agree.  If you simply aren’t able to pay your entire bill, you must – at the least – pay the minimum amount due. All credit cards (except American Express) typically have a minimum monthly payment due.  Even though you may be able to pay more in the future, you should always at least make the minimum monthly payment.  Then, when you are in a better financial position you can speed up paying them off by making additional payments on your cards.

The easiest way to do this is to always have the minimum payment amount set aside in your budget, so that you are prepared once you receive your monthly bill.  By paying the minimum amount due, you’ll also guarantee that no other fees will be added to your next credit card statement.

Although credit cards can be useful for a number of reasons, you should always know their interest rates and have an accurate calculation of what your bill is going to be before you purchase something using your card.  Many credit card holders have a “I’ll worry about it when the bill comes,” mentality and typically suffer greatly for it when their credit card statement comes.

Anytime you have a credit card, you should make sure that you have the money to pay the bill, or the minimum amount, the moment it arrives.  This way, you’ll remain in good standing with your credit company and your credit score will continue to increase.  If you know you can’t make the minimum monthly payment, you should contact your credit card issuer immediately and see if you can work out a payment arrangement. Communicating with your lenders is crucial if you are having a hard time paying any creditor whether its credit cards, auto loans, etc. Stay on top of your monthly payments and you will see your FICO score rise and you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing you are not paying a bunch of additional fees and interest.

What have you done to insure you pay your bills on-time?