Finance Globe

U.S. financial and economic topics from several finance writers.
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What if you can’t Afford to Pay Your Credit Card Bill?

What if you can’t Afford to Pay Your Credit Card Bill?

There are many risks associated with using a credit card. At the top of the list is the inability to pay your bill when the time comes.

If you find yourself in this position, it’s not time to panic just yet. Instead, there are a few key steps you should take:

1. Try to collect enough money for the minimum payment. You don’t have to pay your balance in full. As long as you can scrape together enough money for the minimum payment, it’ll buy you more time without dinging your credit score.

2. Contact your credit card company. This may not be something you want to do, but it’s an important step to take. Let them know what’s going on, explaining that you won’t be able to make your next payment.

You may be surprised to find that your credit card company is more than willing to help. For example, they may offer to extend your due date so you have more time to get the money together.

3. Negotiate. This may or may not work, but it’s always worth a try. For example, you may not have enough money to make the minimum payment. In this case, ask your company if they will accept half to avoid the missed payment being reported to the three major credit bureaus.

Note: if you’ve never missed a payment in the past, make this clear to your credit card company. Showing that you’re a long time customer with a track record of paying on time will only work in your favor.

It can be extremely stressful to find that you are unable to pay your credit card bill. If you’re stuck in this position, the three steps above may be able to keep you on track.

Would you add any other points of advice to this list? Share your thoughts in the comment section. 

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Comments 1

Frank on Thursday, 29 September 2016 11:18

This will likely happen to you at some point in your life. I have never been able to negotiate less of an amount, but I have had success deferring the minimum payment and also received a payment plan once. It was not ideal and I paid a ton of interest, but it helped me maintain my credit score and my good relationship with the credit card company.

This will likely happen to you at some point in your life. I have never been able to negotiate less of an amount, but I have had success deferring the minimum payment and also received a payment plan once. It was not ideal and I paid a ton of interest, but it helped me maintain my credit score and my good relationship with the credit card company.
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Tuesday, 20 August 2019

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