Forgetfulness Top Cause of Late Bill Payments - Other News


ADVERTISING DISCLOSURE: is an independent, advertising-supported web site. receives compensation from most credit card issuers whose offers appear on our site. Compensation from our advertising partners impacts how and where their products appear on our site, including, for example, the order in which they may appear within review lists. has not reviewed all available credit card offers in the marketplace.

Credit Card Applications » News » Other » Forgetfulness Top Cause of Late Bill Payments

Forgetfulness Top Cause of Late Bill Payments

The content is accurate at the time of publication and is subject to change.
This content is not provided by Citi. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed here are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the Citi.

Most of us have missed a payment due date at some point in our lives, whether because we didn’t have the money to pay it or because we simply forgot to circle the date on our calendars. A new survey from Citi digs a little deeper to find out how many of us are paying bills late and why—as well as what the repercussions of those late payments are.

More than half of those surveyed (59%) said they had paid a bill late in their lifetime, with 88% of those late payments occurring within the past year. Why so many late payments? Reasons cited included the following:

  • Forgetfulness – 61%
  • Lack of funds – 42%
  • Too busy – 39%

Late payments typically incur late fees, which can be as high as $35 each month. Credit cards in particular tend to levy steep late fees of anywhere from $15 to $35 per missed payment. Customers can often get late fees waived by calling their credit card issuer, utility company, or other creditor to explain their circumstances, but only 40% of respondents who had paid a bill late said they had asked for the fee to be waived.

Which bills?

Perhaps because of the late fees and other penalties that credit card issuers tend to charge for late payments, those bills aren’t the most likely to be forgotten. The most frequently tardy bill is a utility bill, with half of those surveyed saying they’d missed a utility bill payment in their life. Cell phone and telephone bills came in second; 44% reported posting those payments late at some point. Credit card bills and cable bills were the third most likely to be overlooked, with four in 10 respondents admitting they’d paid one of those late.

Cause and effect

How are those missed payments affecting people? Besides costing money in fees, late payments can cost time dealing with companies on the phone. Of the 40% of people overall who reported requesting a late fee to be waived, 57% of those called their credit card issuers to make their case for fee relief and spent a minimum of 10 minutes on the phone.

Of those who didn’t get fees waived, more than a third estimated they were charged as much as $25 a year, and one-fifth said they were charged between $26 and $50 yearly.

Survey methodology

Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever – the only credit card on the market that never charges a late fee or a penalty rate if customers miss a payment, sponsored this survey. It was conducted via telephone April 19-21, 2013. Random digit dialing was used to reach a representative sample of 1,006 adults over age 18.

Disclaimer: This editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuer(s). Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, not those of the credit card issuer(s), and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer(s). Reasonable efforts are made to present accurate information, however all information is presented without warranty. Consult a card's issuing bank for the terms & conditions.
All rates and fees, and other terms and conditions of the products mentioned in this article/post are actual as of the last update date but are subject to change. See the current products' Terms & Conditions on the issuing banks' websites.
Add to Favorites:

Related News:

Citi to Take Over Best Buy Credit Cards
Citi to Take Over Best Buy Credit Cards

Posted: February 22, 2013

Citi reached an agreement with Capital One to acquire the Best Buy private label credit cards in a deal valued at approximately $7 billion. Continue reading

Discover Spending Monitor Shows Slight Rise in Consumer Confidence
Discover Spending Monitor Shows Slight Rise in Consumer Confidence

Posted: March 14, 2013

Discover’s latest Spending Monitor showed that spending was steady, and confidence in the economy was improving – but only slightly. Nearly half of the respondents expect the economy to get worse before it gets better. Continue reading

Consumers Rate American Express and USAA Top Credit Card Issuers
Consumers Rate American Express and USAA Top Credit Card Issuers

Posted: March 27, 2013

American Express and USAA came out on top in a study that asked 10,000 consumers how they felt about their credit card issuers. Look at the results to see how your bank or issuer fared. Continue reading

Get the latest news, articles and expert advice delivered to your inbox. It's FREE.
Earn 5% cash back at different places each quarter like gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants, and more up to the quarterly maximum, each time you activate.
For Excellent, Good Credit
INTRO OFFER: Discover will match ALL the Miles you've earned at the end of your first year, automatically. For example, if you earn 30,000 Miles, you get 60,000 Miles. That's $600 towards travel!
For Excellent, Good Credit
Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every day
For Average, Fair, Limited Credit
You've successfully subscribed!

Please specify the following:All these fields are optional

Your Credit History
Themes you are interested in:

By providing this information you help us make our news letters more useful and informative. Thank you!