Struggling to Pay Your Credit Cards Every Month? This Simple Move Could Help

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  • Credit card billing cycles don't always align well with workers' pay cycles.
  • Asking to change your credit card's due date could make your bills much easier to manage.

One phone call could spare you a world of stress.

Some people have no choice but to carry a balance forward on their credit cards, all the while racking up lots of interest. But what if you keep running into a situation where you can't pay your bill in full until your next paycheck comes in? If so, there may be an easy way to avoid late payments or having to carry a balance and rack up even small sums of interest.

When it pays to ask for a change

Credit card due dates don't always align with typical pay periods at work. You might, for example, get paid on the 30th or 31st of every month while your credit card bill is due on the 28th of the month. And that could put you in a bind, because while you might very well be in a position to pay that bill in full two or three days later, you may be stuck making a partial payment on your balance until your next paycheck comes in.

If that's a situation you've landed in, one quick call to your credit card company could result in a positive change -- a new billing cycle. Sometimes, credit card due dates are assigned at random. But chances are, your credit card company won't really care if your bills are due on the 28th of each month versus the 31st. So if you call and ask to move your bills' due date, there's a good chance your credit card issuer will be on board. And that could spare you a world of financial stress.

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Of course, in an ideal world, you'd be able to pay your credit card bills each month without having to wait for your next paycheck to arrive. But unfortunately, many people live paycheck to paycheck -- especially these days, with inflation being rampant. And if that's the boat you're in right now, it pays to get your credit card bill due date moved as you work to build up some savings to buy yourself more leeway in the future.

You don't ask, you don't get

A different billing cycle due date isn't the only thing you can ask a credit card company for. If you're an account holder in good standing, there are a few different aspects of your credit cards you can negotiate.

For one thing, you may be able to snag a credit limit increase if your account isn't past due and you've had it a while. If you can point to an uptick in your income, you'll make your case even stronger. But even if your salary hasn't gone up, you might still be able to get your spending limit increased by asking.

Similarly, if you're carrying a balance on your credit card, or you fear you'll soon end up carrying one, you can try negotiating your card's interest rate downward. Your credit card issuer might agree to lower it, because that way, it gets to make some money off of you, albeit a bit less.

Therefore, the point is that you never know when a credit card company might be willing to work with you to make your account better serve your needs. So if you need a change, whether it pertains to your billing cycle, spending limit, or interest rate, speak up about it. The worst that'll happen is that you'll be told no. But chances are, for something as simple as a shift in your credit card's due date, you'll get an easy yes.

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