Collectively, Americans have roughly $887 billion in credit card debt. While debt varies individually, if you have the means to pay toward your credit card balance more than once a month—then you should go ahead and do so. With the ability to pay almost everything online today, it’s easy enough to send money to your credit lender two or even three times a month, depending on your financial situation.
The main reasons why paying more than once toward your card is a good move?
More frequent payments can help reduce your credit utilization ratio.
Your utilization ratio is how much credit you’re using versus how much you have available. If you’re using up more than 30%, your credit score will most likely get dinged since credit utilization is a big part of your credit score.
How will they know each month? Well, during each billing cycle your credit lenders send a report to credit bureaus. If you were using a large amount of your utilization ratio, your credit score could take a hit. On the other hand, by paying it down multiple times when it makes sense for you throughout the month, you’ll have a better chance that one of your earlier payments will have reduced your ratio enough that it doesn’t affect you.
By paying more, you can help reduce the amount you owe in interest.
Nothing in life comes for free—and that’s especially true when it comes to interest rates. When you pay more frequently, you’re also paying down your loan faster, ultimately helping to reduce the amount you’ll owe in interest day to day and over time—which could potentially be thousands of dollars.
Planning around your paychecks can help you budget more efficiently.
If you decide to designate dollars to your credit card balance more than once a month, it often makes sense to do so around the time you get paid. When you pay toward the balance as soon as the money is in the bank, you’ll have less cash to squander and a more focused path toward repayment.
You won’t have late fees to contend with when you’re paying more than once a month.
No one wants to pay late fees on top of interest rates and repayment. But when you pay toward the credit card balance more frequently, you ensure that you won’t be charged anything extra. On average, late fees can cost anywhere from $25–$40.
Call a credit counselor if repayment is a struggle for you. For some, the ability to pay more than once a month is a luxury—especially if you’re struggling to even pay the minimum once a month. If that’s the case, a credit counselor can help you create a budget while also helping to educate you financially.
If you qualify, your counselor may even want you to enroll in a debt management program. Your counselor will reach out to your lenders to consolidate your loans into one monthly payment while also helping get your interest rate lowered. Doing all this will help give you peace of mind when it comes to your finances and allow you to pay off your debt in three to five years.