Failing to repay the entire credit card bill before the due date will incur finance charges on the unpaid bill. These charges usually range between 30% and 49% per annum on the unpaid bill. Non-payment of the bill can also lead to the revocation of the interest-free period on fresh credit card transactions.
In this piece, we take a look at some of the important steps you can take if you aren’t able to pay your credit card bill before the due date.
According to Sahil Arora, director, Paisabazaar.com, “All fresh credit card transactions would attract finance charges till the unpaid bill component is repaid in full. Failing to repay the minimum amount due mentioned in the credit card bill will incur an additional penalty in the form of a late payment fee of up to ₹1,300, depending on the card issuer and the bill amount.”
Non-repayment of the minimum amount due would also adversely impact the credit score of the cardholder.
Those who cannot repay their entire credit card bill by the due date can convert their entire credit card bill or a part of it into equated monthly instalments (EMIs), depending on their immediate repayment capacity.
As the interest rate of such EMI conversions is much lower than the finance charges, it will help in reducing the interest burden.
As the tenure of such EMI conversions can range anywhere from three months to five years depending on the card issuer, cardholders can choose their EMI tenures based on their EMI affordability.
“EMI conversions reduce the interest cost of the financially distressed credit card holders, save them from incurring finance charges on fresh credit card transactions, allow them to repay the unpayable bill component in smaller tranches as per their repayment capacity and avoid adverse impact on their credit scores,” said Arora.
Credit card holders who can repay their entire credit card bill within two-three months can also opt for credit card balance transfer wherein the balance is transferred to another credit card issued by a different company at a lower or nil interest rate for a specified period, popularly known as a promotional interest-free period.
However, the new card issuer would start levying finance charges on the unpaid transferred balance after the expiry of the promotional interest-free period.
If your debts have become too big, you can also avail of a personal loan to repay the credit card bill.
Abhishek Soni, co-founder & CEO at Upwards Fintech Pvt. Ltd, said, “You should opt for a personal loan vs borrowing against a credit card as it is a much cheaper option.”
The rate of interest on personal loans can be 12-16% depending on your profile and amount needed, but the interest rate on credit card borrowing can go beyond 36%.
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