Worried About Missing A Credit Card Payment?

Forty-six million Americans (almost 1 in 5 adults) think they will miss at least one credit card payment due date in 2020, according to a new WalletHub credit cards survey released today. This indicates that cracks in the foundation of consumers’ finances are beginning to show, under the strain of mounting debt. The average American household already owes a near-record $8,700 to credit card companies. In light of that, WalletHub’s survey examined people’s experiences with late payments and their attitudes regarding the likelihood of future encounters.

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Why do so many people expect to miss credit card due dates in 2020?

“The reason that roughly 46 million people expect to miss at least one credit card due date in 2020, according to WalletHub’s latest credit card survey, is that we’re stretched too thin – in terms of both time and money,” said WalletHub CEO Odysseas Papadimitriou. “U.S. credit card users started 2020 with more than $1 trillion in credit card debt. Up until this point, we’ve managed to keep our accounts in good standing at historical rates. However, expecting to miss due dates is a sign of cracks in the foundation. And not only do 18% of people expect to miss at least one credit card due date in 2020, but 30% us say that not having enough money is the reason we’re most likely to be late.”

What are some tips for credit card users concerned about late payments?

“The easiest way to avoid late payments, and the fees and credit score damage that can accompany them, is to set up automatic monthly bill payments from a checking account for at least the minimum amount due each month. This will at least remove forgetfulness as a potential cause,” said WalletHub CEO Odysseas Papadimitriou. “Automated payments won’t do much good if you don’t have enough money in your bank account, however. So careful budgeting and saving are key, too.”

Is it worth asking credit card companies to waive late fees?

“Credit card users who almost always pay their monthly bills on time but fail to do so once in a blue moon should definitely try to ask their credit card company to waive any associated late fee. It really can’t hurt, and 9 in 10 people who’ve tried in the past say they’ve been successful at least once, according to WalletHub’s new credit card survey,” said WalletHub CEO Odysseas Papadimitriou. “This is actually one reason why credit cards that emphasize ‘no late fees’ as a feature are sometimes overrated. You might get that on other cards, anyway, just by asking. Plus, ‘no late fee’ often actually means no fee the first time you miss a due date. After that, all bets are off.”

Key Survey Findings

Credit card issuers are forgiving…if you ask nicely.

Nearly 9 in 10 people who have tried to get a credit card late fee waived were successful. Women are 18 percent more likely to have tried to get a fee waived than men but are also 2 percent less likely to have been successful.

Payment priorities change with age.

People aged 18 to 44 are most worried about missing credit card payments. The 45-59 demographic is most concerned about their mortgage, while those over 59 put tax payments as their biggest worry.

Luxury can lead to lapses.

People with high income are almost twice as likely to miss a credit card payment due to forgetfulness as people with low income.

Men and women react differently to fees.

When asked about their attitudes toward getting a late fee, women are 39% more likely than men to feel “punished.” Men are twice as likely to feel “indifferent.”


The Money Talks You Need To Have With Your Fiancee Now

If you’re getting married to someone, you’re about to share much more than a deepening romantic relationship. You’re sharing a life together, with all that entails. It might mean kids in the future, where you’re going to live, what kinds of lives you’ll lead. As you might have guessed, it will definitely mean sharing a lot more of your financial life. It’s a step that people, especially those that have never lived together, always get caught off guard by. But a few conversations now can you a lot of headaches in the future.

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Full disclosure

This is where you’re going to face the most embarrassment on either side of the equation, so actually starting off with it can be a great ice-breaker. Find a delicate way to broach the subject of debts, past and present. Be a secure presence, taking on the attitude that you will both be in this together. Going into a deeper relationship only to be hit by the implications of a debt you didn’t know about can feel like a betrayal, so it’s important to have this talk above all else.

Money personalities

Then on to a bit of a lighter subject. Everyone has different habits with money. Debt can be one of those habits, but it can be used well or unwisely. Impulse shopping, the ability or inability to save. These are all aspects of money personalities you two can find out together. You might find that one of you is more willing and able to manage certain sides while another is better at another side. Find out your money personality, your partners, and where you’re compatible or where one of you can help the other.

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The splits

There are going to be lines split in a marriage, especially if you have kids. Someone’s career might take priority over another’s. Someone might be considered the breadwinner. But most important is finding the equal-but-different way to split the money. For instance, it’s rarely a good idea to share assets or debts, whereas it can be sensible to use a joint account to give yourself both a bit of personal spending money when you have it.

Your goals

What do you want to do with your money? That’s a big decision. If someone wants to eventually start a business or buy a dozen houses to live off, you need to know that now. Similarly, you need to make sure you’re considering potential family goals like your children’s future or your retirement. Setting off in the same direction financially is important.

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Protect one another

Full disclosure of debt is another part of this, but you have to come to the agreements of how you’re going to protect one another later, too. This might mean plans just in case one of you is the breadwinner and might have the risk of passing before the other. It might also mean working on wills now, not later, to avoid any potential disputes that could leave one of you deprived. It’s not the happiest of thoughts, but it’s an important dedication you might want to make to your partner.

You will likely have at least one disagreement or even an argument while having the discussions above. Be kind, be honest, and be willing to sleep on a few points. You need to come to some agreements if this is going to work.