How To Avoid Late Payments On Your Credit Report
Has your credit score taken a hit because of late payments? You’re not alone. Many Americans struggled to pay their bills during the pandemic. And with inflation at an all-time high, it’s not getting any easier.
However, you can slowly rebuild your credit history by avoiding more late payments on credit report. Here are some ways you can get started even when money is tight.
To Avoid Late Payments On Credit Report - Watch Out For The 30-Day Mark
Not all late bills will affect your credit score. By Federal Law, organizations can only report it to the credit bureaus when it is 30 days past the due date. That gives you some elbow room to find the money to pay off the bill until it is marked as a late payments on your credit report.
Call The Creditor
If you usually pay your bills on time, but you are going through a temporary financial crisis, call the creditor and ask them to pause the payment, extend the deadline, or make a partial payment instead.
While the CARES act—which required creditors to give forbearance and loan extensions to ease the impact of COVID-19—expired last March 2022, some companies still have kept flexible repayment schemes.
It doesn’t hurt to ask! Give the creditor a call to find out your options or submit a letter to the creditor requesting an extension. You can also ask them not to report any late payments on credit report while renegotiating the terms.
Set Reminders And Notifications
If you are missing due dates because you forget, then write it down in your calendar, and set notifications on your phone. It’s best to set two reminders: two or three days before the due date, and on the due date itself.
Check Your Budget’s Variable Expenses
Many bills are fixed expenses, which means that you pay a fixed fee no matter what. So, if you struggle to make payments on time, you must find money from other areas in your budget.
The variable (or adjustable) expenses are food and groceries, transportation, entertainment, utilities, and personal allowances. These bills are more in your control, and with a bit of creativity, you can find ways to save.
For example, to limit your spending on food and groceries, you can search for budget-friendly recipes that don’t cost much to make, collect coupons (there are apps that will aggregate them for you), and shop sales at a cheaper supermarket.
You may have to cut entertainment and personal allowances until you catch up on your expenses but think of it as a temporary sacrifice for the important goal of avoiding late payments on credit report.
Look For Government Assistance
Tennessee has several organizations that can provide help during difficult times. For example, LIHEAP is an energy assistance program that can help cover your electricity bills. The Tennessee Housing and Development Agency (THDA) can subsidize your rent. The Dollar Fund can also help cover some of your utility bills.
If you need further aid, Families First can provide cash assistance, transportation allowance, and child care subsidies; this can help cover other basic needs so you have more money to pay off your other bills.
Consider Flex Loans
Flex loans (also called line-of-credit loans) give you “money on demand.” You are given a loan limit that defines how much you can borrow when you need it. You only pay interest when you take out a loan, and you can borrow any time as long as you’re within your loan limit.
Once you pay back the loan, the flex loan amount is reset to the maximum value again. It’s like having backup money available for financial emergencies.
Flex loans can help you:
- Pay bills during months when your income is irregular or your paycheck is late
- Cover unexpected and important expenses, such as car repairs or medical bills
- Quickly settle late bills before the 30-day period in order to avoid late payments on credit report
How To Get Flex Loans
Banks offer line-of-credit loans, but these require a high credit score and are usually provided to businesses. However, Tennessee Title Loans, Inc. provides flex loans for personal use, for people who have bad credit. You can borrow up to $4,000. Here’s what you need.
You only need a few documents to get started.
- Government-Issued Identification. Examples include a driver’s license, passport, etc.
- Lien-Free Title to Your Vehicle. The vehicle must be registered under your name and owned outright. Lien-free means that there are no outstanding judgments on the title, and it is not currently being used as collateral for another loan.
- Your Vehicle for Inspection. This determines the loan amount you qualify for.
- Proof of Income. Possible documents include tax returns, bank statements, pay stubs, etc.
Fill out the request form on Tennessee Title Loans, Inc. homepage. A loan representative will call you to explain how flex loans work and answer any questions you may have. When you’re ready, bring the required documents and your vehicle to our nearest branch. At the branch, a loan representative will inspect your vehicle and your documents. If the loan request is approved, the line of credit is established.
Ask About Flex Loans Now!
You can get flex loans even if you have bad credit or have an existing loan with Tennessee Title Loans, Inc. Contact us and we’ll be happy to help you begin the line-of-credit loan process.
Note: The content provided in this article is only for informational purposes, and you should contact your financial advisor about your specific financial situation.