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News: Don't Be Late With A Credit Card Payment -

Handling multiple bills is not easy, especially if those are credit card bills. Nobody is protected from missing a bill from time to time. How it will affect your credit depends on the credit card you have and the credit card issuer.

Here we describe situations when a credit card payment is considered late and how to avoid them.

First of all, you should understand when your credit card payment is actually considered late. As a rule, credit card payments are due the same day and time every month - by 5 p.m. Some credit card issuers allow to make online or phone payments by 12 p.m. on the due date. So, it is worth checking with the credit card issuer the exact cutoff time for payments.

Secondly, you should factor in the time zone. Your credit card issuer may not be in the same time zone as you. Thus, based on the time zone you will have less or a bit more time to make your payment on time. For example, if the credit card issuer is based on the east coast and you are on the west coast, your usual 5 p.m. ET payment would be late after 2 p.m. This could be solved by paying the bill a few days before it's due.

Another situation is when your payment falls on a weekend, holiday or other day that your credit card issuer doesn't accept payments. According to the CFPB, the issuer must accept your payment as on time if it's received by 5 p.m. on the next business day. Note that this is only for mailed payments, online and phone payments must be done by the due date.

And the last thing to consider is how fast the payment is processed and posted. Be aware that online and phone payments take time (two or three days) to process and post to your account. Some issuers require payments to complete the process to be considered on time and some don't. Depending on this you may or may not be late.

Many credit card issuers allow making expedited payments on the due date to avoid a late fee. Also, you can set up autopay or reminders to make sure you do not miss a payment. If you have multiple due dates, it may be worth considering adjusting your payment due dates.