While paying off your credit card balance each month is best, the reality is that more than 50% of the U.S. is carrying credit card debt month over month. Anyone who uses a credit card should be paying at least the minimum payment each month, but anyone who can pay more, should pay more.
Here’s how paying on your card more than once a month can help save you money—and improve your credit score:
Grow your available credit. Each month, your credit lender sends credit bureaus a report based on the status of your credit card. If you’re using more than 30% of your credit utilization ratio (your available credit), then your credit score could take a hit. By paying more frequently throughout the month, you can ensure that by the time the report is sent, you’ve paid down your debt and brought down your credit utilization—which is weighted heavily in credit scoring (as much as 30%).
Reduce your interest. Unless you have a card with a 0% APR, you’ll potentially pay thousands just in interest rates alone. If you pay toward your balance more than once a month, you’re helping to continually shrink the amount you’d ultimately end up paying in interest day to day and over time.
Save money. Yes, you read that right. If you decide you’re going to pay toward your credit card balance more than once a month, try timing it around when you get paid. This makes the most sense for people since it’s when they have more money. Ultimately, if you’re taking cash directly from your account and putting it toward your debt, you won’t have time to spend it. This way, you’ll pay your card down faster, leaving you with freed-up funds later on that can go to savings.
Get motivated. Seeing your balance go down more than once each month can motivate you to stay on track. It also can elevate your overall well-being as you watch your hard work pay off, alleviating financial burden and financial anxiety.
Seek Credit Counseling Services
Not everyone has the means to pay toward their debt more frequently—and even once a month can be a burden. If this is the case, credit counseling can help you create a budget and become more financially literate. When you work with a credit counselor, they may even advise you to enroll in a debt management plan.
Counselors are well-versed in communicating with lenders to bring down interest rates while also helping you consolidate your loans into one affordable monthly payment. This will help you pay off your debt in three to five years and learn more about what it means to be financially healthy.