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Why you should pay your credit card bills early

If you pay your credit card bills in full and on time every month, you're way ahead of a lot of Americans. You save yourself interest charges, late fees and potential harm to your credit score. However, you probably wait to pay until just before it's due, right? Why pay any earlier than necessary?

It turns out that there are a number of advantages to paying your credit card bills before the due date, whether you still have a balance on the card or not.

First, early payments can raise your credit score. That's because the amount of debt the credit bureaus report is based on the total amount you owe on the last day of the statement cycle. Therefore, if you make a payment before that day, less debt is reported.

Second, if you pay your credit card bills (and all bills, for that matter) as you receive them, you're less likely to forget about them or have your payment received late -- particularly if you still use snail mail). Further, if you pay your bills as they arrive rather than set aside one or two days a month to pay them, you'll be looking at your bank account balances more often and be more cognizant of your spending habits.

Third, if you pay your credit card bill as soon as you receive it, you're taking the money out of your bank account sooner, which means that it won't be there to tempt you to spend it. This can help you cut down on your overall debt.

Finally, even if you aren't able to pay off the whole bill, if you make a payment before it's due, it reduces the amount of interest you're accruing on your remaining balance.

If you are becoming overwhelmed by credit card debt, it's important to seek guidance in how best to handle it sooner rather than later.

Source: Wise Bread, "6 Smart Reasons to Pay Your Credit Card Bill Before It's Due," Tim Lemke, July 05, 2017

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