One of my favorite TV shows is Parks and Recreation, a sitcom about a politician named Leslie Knope who is overly passionate about a small Indiana town called Pawnee.
There’s this episode where Leslie is running for office and she’s about to enter a debate with her opposing candidates. Leslie’s entire staff gathers together to watch the televised debate at the home of irresponsible Andy Dwyer, one of the office workers whose absentmindedness is somehow both infuriating yet endearing. Just as Andy goes to turn on the TV to watch the debate, an out-of-service message pops up on the screen.
“Uh oh,” Andy says. “Looks like somebody forgot to pay the cable bill!”
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Now, Andy is, of course, a fictional character, and his silly personality doesn’t reflect those of the rest of us who sometimes forget to pay our bills. But the lesson I took from this episode was that even if you’ve got the money to pay your bills, you still might not pay them on time simply because of forgetfulness. And it’s nothing to be ashamed of — we’re all extremely busy, so who has time to spend each and every day calculating which bill is due on what date?
That’s why I want to talk about the importance of automatic bill pay reminders, which are extremely useful when it comes to making on-time payments. Using free bill reminder and account management service Manilla.com is a great way to set up reminders without having to do any of the heavy lifting. With Manilla.com and the top-rated mobile apps, you get automatic bill pay reminders via text or email so you always pay your bills on time and never pay late fees.
Here are a few of the reasons why it’s important to always make those on-time payments.
Avoid late fees
One of the biggest annoyances of making late payments is getting hit with late fees and penalty charges. Most credit card companies issue a penalty fee if you fail to make a payment by the respective due date. You’ll often be charged $25 for your first violation, but you could be charged $35 (plus interest) for each violation thereafter. Paying late fees are completely preventable by using Manilla’s automatic bill pay reminders.
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Better credit score
Your payment history is responsible for 35 percent of your credit score, according to myFICO. That means that even if all of the other factors considered — amounts owed, length of credit history, new credit and types of credit used — are outstanding, your late payments could still affect your score. While one or 30-day or 60-day late payments won’t affect your score too negatively, payments that are extremely late can send your credit score plummeting. Even just one 90-day late payment can damage your credit for up to seven years.