This Simple Move Could Make Your Credit Card Bills More Manageable

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KEY POINTS

  • Many people are struggling these days with higher living costs.
  • If you're living paycheck to paycheck, one change to your credit cards could make a world of a difference. 
  • You can ask your credit card company to change your bill's due date.


It could help you on multiple levels.

Managing bills -- credit card or otherwise -- was tricky for a lot of people before inflation started to surge back in 2021. But this year, many people have been forced to deplete their savings to handle higher living costs. And as such, they're now stuck in a paycheck-to-paycheck cycle.

If that's a scenario you've landed in, you may be struggling to pay your credit card bills on time every month. But one simple change could make those bills easier to manage -- and also help you avoid racking up interest on your credit card balances.

A simple but effective change

Credit card companies often set monthly billing cycles arbitrarily. If your credit card bills are due each month right before your next paycheck comes in, that could put you at risk of not being able to pay them on time. But in that case, a quick call to your credit card company might solve the problem and spare you a world of stress going forward.

Let's say you have a few credit cards whose bills are due every month between the 8th and 12th. If you get paid on the 15th and 30th of every month, pushing those bills back a week could make it so you have an extra paycheck on hand to cover your balances. The result? You'll be more likely to pay on time and avoid having to carry a balance forward.

And if you're thinking your credit card companies will push back on this request, consider this -- credit card companies enjoy keeping long-term account holders around. So if you've had your cards open for a number of years and your accounts are in good standing (meaning, you're not late on your payments or delinquent in any way), then there's no reason for any given credit card company not to work with you.

Of course, if your credit card companies push back, you could always ask to close an account. Chances are, that will prompt them to be more helpful so they don't lose you as a customer.

It also pays to track your spending

While moving your credit cards' monthly due dates to better align with your paycheck schedule could make it easier to manage your money and avoid being late with payments, if money is tight, it's also a good idea to check your credit card balances on a weekly basis rather than wait to see what your monthly charges amount to. If you see by the midpoint of your billing cycle that you've charged up quite a large balance, that might prompt you to alter your spending habits for the rest of that cycle. 

Unfortunately, it could be quite some time until inflation levels start to drop. And until that happens, you may find that you have no choice but to continue living paycheck to paycheck. 

That doesn't mean you have to resign yourself to racking up interest on your credit cards, though. Instead, try changing the date your bills are due and seeing whether it makes them any easier to pay in full. Chances are, it will.

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