How to pay your bills on time and save your credit score

By Isabelle Coetzee

The most crucial factor in ensuring a good credit score is meeting your monthly payments – in full, and on time. If you miss these deadlines, your credit score will take a significant knock. 

But how can you guarantee you don’t miss any payments? We have a look at the two main methods you can use to ensure your bills are paid, as well as what you should do if you do miss a payment.

Tip: By consolidating your debt, you will be able to reduce your monthly instalments. Find out more.

Setting up reminders and debit orders

According to Eloise Boezak, head of customer experience at African Bank, a good practice is to set up a specific time and date every month to pay your bills.

“Most bills are due towards the end of the month, but make sure you check due dates. Rates accounts, such as your water and electricity bills, may be due at a different time of the month,” says Boezak.

She suggests that, where possible, you should set up debit orders that allow you to relax knowing that your bills will be paid on time, without any further action required from you.

However, Boezak says that you should nonetheless make a habit of checking that the debit orders go off as scheduled. She also recommends you double check your bank messages to confirm payments.

For amounts that differ monthly,” says Boezak,  “you should set a reminder for at least two days before the date they are due, and be disciplined in paying them during that scheduled time.”  

READ MORE: Compare debit order fees and save

What if you miss a payment?

In spite of your efforts, something may go wrong and you may miss a payment. Don’t pancif this happens, simply make sure you get right back on track.

“Pay your debt as soon as you realise you have missed the payment. Contact the service provider immediately to advise them of the late payment and send them proof of payment to update your record as soon as possible,” says Boezak.

If you’re notified of a late payment, but the fault lies with your creditor, make sure you take the right steps to rectify the situation. Do this if your credit score is negatively impacted by creditor error.

Curious about your current credit score? Sign up to CreditSav for free and find out today.

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