Whether it’s the first time you will pay your credit card bill or have already done so previously, knowing and constantly being updated on your options to settle your bill is helpful. Knowing the options available to you can help you save more, settle your bills more strategically, or just know what method will be the most convenient for you.
We’re here to help you out. This guide provides strategies you may use to settle your credit card balances quickly, reduce interest , and enhance your credit score.
Why is It Essential to Pay Credit Card Bills On Time?
It is your responsibility to pay your credit card debt on time. You may forget or miss one or more payment deadlines for other reasons. Overdue payments may cause your credit card issuer to impose restrictions and penalties. An example is that you cannot access some financial facilities.
1. Interest Penalties
Once missing the payment deadline on a credit card statement, you may be liable for additional charged interest for payments past the due date.
The extra interest rate may be higher than the regular interest rate levied on the total outstanding balance, including interest due on the credit card account. The longer you defer your payments, like more than 30 days, the higher the interest rate the bank charges. Interest penalties can be significant due to the amount owed and cause financial stress.
2. Late Payment Fees
Besides the interest penalties, you may pay a fixed late-payment fee. Credit card issuers differ in charging late-payment interest and fees. When applying for a credit card, you should consult the terms and conditions, especially payment details.
3. Credit Score
Your payment history plays a crucial part in your credit score. A late or missed payment hurts your scores. The score situation only deteriorates if you pay much later.
One instant consequence of a lower credit score is you may not be qualified for personal financings, such as car loans, mortgages, personal loans, or credit cards.
Another is that you may pay much higher interest on future debts based on your credit scores even if you borrow from financial institutions.
How to Pay Credit Bills in Singapore?
Online payment is the primary and popular way to pay your bills. Most people choose it because it’s fast and convenient.
Here are typical ways to pay your credit bills online:
- Log in to your account of your credit card issuer and select “Pay” on the menu bar.
- Select “Bill payment” and then tap on “Billing organization.”
- Select “Single bill payment,” input your reference number, and tap “Submit.”
- Review your payment details before submitting your confirmation.
- Log in to your account on the official website.
- Select “Payment and Transfers” and tap on “Pay bills”.
- Select “Pay billing organization”
- Review the payment details before confirming.
Other options for paying credit card bills
Online payment may be the popular way to pay your bills, but do you know there are other options you can consider?
- Autopay: You set up an autopay authority to pay your bills with a checking or savings account at a specific date each month. The benefit is you will never miss or pay late over your bills. And you should deposit sufficient funds into your account before the payment date.
- At a branch: You can present your payments, such as cash or cheques, to settle your account by visiting a bank issuing your credit card.
- GIRO: By logging into your internet banking account, you can use the “GIRO payment section” to set up your credit card bills autopay.
- By post: You may send a cheque to the credit card company to settle the outstanding balances. But you risk losing your cheque in the mailing process or delaying your payment and incurring penalties because of lengthy administrative procedures.
- ATM: ATMs(automatic teller machines) are prevalent in Singapore. You can use any credit card issuer’s ATMs nationwide to pay bills.
- Pay at AXS stations/e-stations/m-stations: You can make credit card payments at one of more than 600 access points from the electronic service delivery network islandwide.
If you plan to use autopay for account settlement, you should allow time, usually 2 to 3 business days, to set up the payment function. For example, if your payment date is the 27th day of every month, you should arrange for the setup by the 24th day at the latest.
What Happens If You Default on Overdue Credit Card Bills?
Besides the penalties abovementioned, you may face more severe consequences upon payment delinquency.
An Account in Collections
A card issuer usually charges off a default account if it has not received the minimum payment or above for over half a year. The charge-off occurs when the issuer deems a debtor more likely than not delinquent on payments and decides to write off the debt for tax purposes. That does not mean you offload your debt but are still accountable.
During this period, an issuer may sell your debt to a third party, typically a debt collector. You are responsible for paying a new creditor, and more, your credit score will go south deep. Your credit status on the report will stay for a long time, e.g., 7 years.
Your new creditor may use more aggressive tactics to recover the debt. They include threatening to confiscate your belongings or activating legal procedures to recover the debt.
A creditor may file a lawsuit against you if you have not paid over time. A court judgment, most likely favoring the creditor, may grant the creditor a right to seize your properties, including your funds in bank accounts, a lien against the real estate, and other belongings. A court judgment can take place even without your presence in court.
You should consult your legal advisor in this field to protect your rights if summoned to court.
5 Tips for Paying Your Credit Card Bills
Success in managing your credit card debt reduces your financial stress and lets you focus on your career and family.
Tips are guides to helping you maintain a healthy credit history.
1. Make an Action Plan
An implementable plan is a necessary solution to credit card debt. Through the program, you put aside a sum as an expense to pay the credit card balance each month. You should strive to pay more than the minimum amount required or in full to avoid extra interest incurred by the outstanding balance. If you face a challenge in paying the minimum amount required, reviewing your spending habits and following money flows help track and reapportion the cash flows needed for your credit card payment.
2. Autopay Your Bills
Another convenient option is autopayment of your bills. You set up the function by instructing a bank to pay your bills in full or a fixed amount from your account every month, so you never miss the deadline or minimum amount required.
3. Change Due Date
A change of payment date may suit your plan to meet the deadline. You should talk to your credit card issuer to move payment dates forward or backward to meet your timelines.
4. Change Payment Frequency
You may increase payments to reduce debt. One tactic is to pay the debt once additional funds are available. The benefits are: You may pay off your debt early, 2. You pay less interest due to reducing principal, 3. You strengthen your determination to pay off your debt.
5. Set Up Payment Reminders
You can use alerts to remind you of incoming payments. Besides setting up electronic reminders from your mobile phones, mobile applications of credit card issuers send payment alerts days before deadlines. You can include them if you are too busy to remember to pay.
Other Tips to Minimize Your Credit Card Debt
Credit card debt is haunting you and increasing your financial stress, especially in a rising interest environment. You want to eliminate your debt as soon as possible and stay focused on other essential things.
You may consider the following ways to relieve part or the whole of your debt.
1. Prioritize Paying Off the Debt of the Highest Interests
The strategy aims at reducing high interest on the debt. You allocate all available resources to pay up high-interest debts and use the saved resources to pay debts of lower interest rates.
When you pay off the first tier of debt with the highest interest rates, the second tier should be your target by maximizing your resources in reducing credit card debt.
2. Pay More than Required
You should expect to pay more than the minimum required on your credit card statement. With a realistic plan, you stick to the plan and grow a habit of paying more than required, even on a stringent budget. A well-disciplined practice makes debt payments regular, leading to early debt extinguishment.
3. $0 Balance Transfer Package
Credit card issuers offer cash advances inducing clients to transfer existing card debts to one. Clients continue paying principal but no interest during a promotional period, such as 6 or 12 months after a transfer.
Clients of the package save on the interest on the cash advances and can use the saved interest to repay other loans. However, they may pay higher interest as the rates are higher than other credit card interest rates.
4. Personal Loan
A personal loan is one of the viable solutions to cut your loan burden. Besides consolidating your loans into one under management for convenience’s sake, you can reduce the interest due to its lower interest rates than a credit card. Moreover, a personal loan has a longer repayment period, such as 1,3, or 5 years than a $0 balance transfer with a limited period of up to 12 months.
You should review the fees like administrative costs or processing fees, likely leading up to 1% of a loan amount, and compare and select the maximum cost benefits between 2 loans.
5. Refinance your Home Loan
Home loan is an effective alternative to reduce your credit card loan. A home loan offers lower interest rates and a long repayment period of 20 to 30 years. You may get an attractive package due to the competitive market and have a better package regarding terms and interest rates.
You should commit to a longer repayment time, for example, 10 or more years. A well-disciplined repayment habit is necessary to clear the debt.
6. Line of Credit
A line of credit is standby cash available to use in an account. It is a flexible loan as interest arises only on cash drawdowns and the repayment options are more flexible than credit card loans. Besides, the interest rate from a line of credit is lower than a credit card.
7. Negotiate with a Credit Card Issuer
You may think it necessary to have a direct talk with your bank to reduce loan interest or extend the repayment period as you struggle to repay the debt. Or a repayment holiday may be one of the options a bank may grant you.
If negotiations bring no agreement, you may resort to a Debt Repayment Scheme, which allows a debtor to repay in a structured order – a bankruptcy process. A participant in the scheme downgrades their credit scores.
8. Talk to a Professional in the Field
If you still cannot have an ideal solution to your debt, professional advice is another choice you can resort to. An experienced consular may offer more options to get you out of current difficulties.
Paying credit card bills can be mind-stressing if you struggle to meet monthly deadlines. Now, you can use more tactics to relieve financial stress by using tactics about tips for paying debt and go further by reducing your credit card debt burden.
- Online banking, autopay, and GIRO payment offer you the convenience of paying credit card bills quickly.
- Credit card issuers accept in-person at a branch or by post for settling debt.
- ATMs and AXS stations, e-stations, and m-stations are a conduit for bill repayment.
- Clients can pay through mobile apps.
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