Aside from crowning myself as the Queen of Rakets, another thing that helped me wipe off my massive credit card bills was staggering my credit card payments through online banking.
It’s really simple, I just take note of two things in my credit card statement: (1) the Payment Due Date; and (2) the Statement Date. By looking at my credit card statement, I can approximate my due date will fall on the 7th and the billing statement will issue on the 17th of every month.
It’s imperative to pay at least the minimum before or on the payment due date in order to avoid nasty penalties. I find that because I use Metrobank Direct, payments made for my Metrobank credit card are credited in real time. But with other issuing banks, like my RCBC credit card, I have to give an allowance of 3-4 business days from the listed payment due date, in order to account for the transfer of funds from one bank to another.
Anyway, so you have to pay at least the minimum on or before the due date, and for this statement, I have already paid Php5,000.00, bringing down my outstanding balance to Php12,792.65.
Now from the time the payment becomes due to the time the next billing statement is issued (a period of about 9-10 days), your account is in some sort of limbo because the 3.5% monthly interest only gets tacked on with the next billing statement. So take advantage of this by continuing with online payments in order to avoid that ridiculously high monthly interest rate. I haven’t confirmed it, but I have a strong feeling that you can’t pay your overdue credit card bill over the counter, even if you have already paid the minimum and just want to make additional payments. And even if you can, it’s so much more convenient to do it online.
So from the Php5,000 I’ve already paid, depending on how much cash I can cough up, I can pay an extra Php5,000 or wipe out my balance entirely, between June 7 to June 17.
While staggering your credit card payments online won’t guarantee that you’ll have enough cash to pay off your entire balance, at least it gives you an additional week or so to come up with cash to pay off as much as you can without incurring penalties. And that, is priceless.