Impulse spending, emergencies, buying too many things we just don't need — all of these are reasons we typically think of to explain why people make late credit card payments.
Turns out, the most common reason for a delinquent payment was that people simply forgot to pay, according to a new report from NerdWallet.
The report looked at delinquencies (defined as credit card debt 30 days or more overdue) and associated fees, and found that 35 per cent of delinquent payments can be attributed to forgetting to pay, followed by needing the money to pay for essentials and having to pay for an unexpected emergency.
There's a simple fix for forgetting to pay, one that you'll find in pretty much every article about getting your finances in order: Automatic payments. Set your bill to autopay (you can do this on your issuer's website).
If you're worried you won't have enough money to cover your bill each month (which is a very different issue), then set it to make automatic minimum payments.
When you set your bill to autopay, you can also request reminders, via email or text (or both), from your bank when the balance comes due. "Once you get that alert, scour the credit card statement to make sure all transactions are valid and you have the money in your account to cover the scheduled payment," suggests the report. You won't miss a payment again.