Do you have multiple credit cards? How do you make your monthly payments? People with multiple credit cards have different ways of making payments. Some may concentrate on paying off the balance on their higher interest cards. While this is still a good habit, missing payments on any card you own can affect your credit score even if you’re doing so well with the others. If you want to be in charge of your credit, here are tips you can follow while making payment for multiple credit cards.
01 Pay at least the minimum on all your credit cards
It is advisable to always make at least the minimum payments on your credit cards, whether high interest or low. Your payment will be considered late if you pay less than the minimum or miss payment on any card. Late payments come with consequences. Not only will you be charged a late fee, your interest rate might also rise making it more expensive to carry a balance.
After 30 days with no payment, your delinquency is reported to the credit bureaus, added to your credit report, and factored into your credit score. A single late payment in your entire credit history might not do much damage, but the more delinquencies you have, the worse the effect on your credit score.
02 Pay up any past due balance | Handling Multiple Credit Cards
You need to pay up any balance that is behind as quickly as possible. Until you clear your debts, you’ll continue to rack up late fees and interest fees. You’ll have to make six consecutive monthly payments for your interest rate to go back to normal.
These delinquent bills will also stay on your credit report and hurt your credit score until you’ve paid off the past due balance. If you have any extra money in your budget after making the minimum payments on all your cards, put it all towards bringing your accounts current. If you’re late for 180 days or more your creditor might charge-off your account or refer it to collections or both. At that point, you’ll lose your purchasing ability and you’ll no longer have the option of making monthly payments on your credit card.
03 Bring your maxed out accounts below the credit limit
Any time your credit cards go beyond your credit limit, it raises red flags to current and future lenders. You may also be charged an over limit fee. Therefore, after paying the minimum and clearing past due balances, put your leftover funds toward reducing maxed out balances. Lowering your balance will also help your credit score.
04 Bring high balances closer to $0
To maintain a good credit score, you should keep your balances closer to $0. Focus especially on balances that are close to the credit limit. High credit card balances increase your credit utilization and hurt your credit score. Keeping your balances low shows that you can handle credit responsibly and will help improve your credit score.
05 Pay off high interest rate balances | Multiple Credit Cards
If you want to get out of debt quicker, you should first focus on paying off credit cards that have high interest rates. Since you pay more in finance charges on high interest rate credit cards, it’s wisest to pay those balances off quicker to minimize the amount of interest you pay.
After you’ve met the minimum payment on your other accounts, put a lump sum payment toward your balance with the highest interest rate until it’s paid off.