OMG I Forgot to Pay My Credit Card Bill!

Posted June 19, 2017 by Craig Jenkins in

Have you ever wondered what would happen if you forgot to pay your credit card bill? This recently happened to me, so I can tell you firsthand. Like many of you, I live a busy life. Between late nights at the office, running errands and going to the gym, it can be easy to forget something important.

You know that feeling you get when you’re lying in bed at 2AM and you just know you’ve forgotten something? That happened to me. I couldn’t put my finger on it, until suddenly it struck me like a bolt of lightning. I had forgotten to pay my credit card bill. (I have three credit cards and the statements arrive by email instead of snail mail, so they can be easy to overlook.)

I rushed to the computer to see when the due date was, but it was too late. My credit card bill was late, not to mention there were interest charges. I paid my credit card bill, including interest charges, and went back to bed (it was 2:30AM by now and I surely wasn’t going to jump on the phone.)

The next day I called my credit card company to resolve the situation. I’d been a loyal cardholders for years, so I was hoping they’d be sympathetic to the fact that this was an honest mistake and I’d never done it before. I spoke with the call rep and told them my story. I felt bad for making an excuse for not paying my credit card bill, but as I mentioned, it totally slipped my mind and I paid it right away when I realized I made a mistake.

The call rep was sympathetic. She could see that I had a long history of paying my credit card bills in full and on time. After less than 10 minutes, she agreed to reverse the interest charges on my credit card statement. (I didn’t even have to escalate it and ask to speak to a manager.) She asked me if I was interested in balance protection, but I said I’d pass since I’m not in the habit of paying my credit card bill late.

Although the interest charge of $5.43 was annoying, my biggest worry was whether my credit score would take a hit. The good news is that it didn’t. It only takes a hit if you miss two credit card payments in a row. On top of that, the interest rate on your credit card will likely increase. In other words, avoid paying two credit card bills late at all cost.

The Bottom Line

If you accidentally forget to pay your credit card bill on time and it’s an honest mistake, you should have no problem getting the interest charged waived. It helps if this is the first time. Be polite and persistent. If you’re not getting anywhere with the call rep, kindly ask to speak to their manager and see if there’s anything that can be done. It’s well worth the effort. The last thing you want is to damage your credit score over something as simple as an honest mistake.