Avoiding late bill payments may avoid fees, improve credit scores

A recent report from the Daily News-Miner relayed that credit card holders who fail to meet their monthly payments in a timely fashion may suffer significant consequences.

Many card issuers can charge their account holders as much as $39 per violation. The article likens the fee to a speeding ticket, as card companies issue them to prevent the action from occurring again. However, unlike speeding tickets, these penalties are assessed for every violation – noticed or not.

Furthermore, late credit card payments may negatively impact a consumer's credit score. To maintain a good score, experts advise credit card holders to meet their monthly requirements on time. Using online services is typically the best method, as automatic payments can reduce the responsibility of a cardholder each month.

In addition to paying credit card bills in a timely fashion, cardholders should also check their credit reports to ensure their record accurately reflects their payments, as errors on these documents can unfairly lower a person's credit score. Consumers should also check for items that may not have been reported in compliance with federal law. Whether its an error or an unsubstantiated mark, individuals can investigate and challenge these listings in an effort to remove them and boost their three-digit numbers.