Everyone knows that tardiness is a pain in the neck and we should avoid participating in this type of activity. As a point of reference, tardiness is regularly being late on many of our obligations that are time sensitive. In other words, when you don’t pay on time continuously you fall into this category and that is not a good trait to be known for. 

Being late regularly creates a negative impression of ourselves and how people will see us . Obviously, this isn’t good quality to be known for if you want people to consider you to be a responsible individual. We all know someone who fits into this category and we try to avoid falling into this negative category ourselves.

Our word is our bond is a phrase that is used but your track record tells more about who you are than what you claim you are. And when you’re conducting business transactions, which we will target in this article, being on time is a very important credit risk barometer for the person on the other side.

As we conduct business transactions, we will pay dearly for not being on time. This is because borrowing money has a cost. The later you get around to make your payment, the higher the late fees will be. I wonder if we knew how expensive it is costing you for being late, I’m sure that you would look at this process with more urgency.   Sometimes we don’t know all the cost involved, we just pay our lenders a part of what we owe them in order to get them off our backs. I know this is true because I have been guilty of doing the same myself. 

People who are late on a consistent basis, they don’t seem to see the value of paying on time, or arriving on time, so they continue to show up whenever it’s applicable to them. And no matter what profession that you are in, tardiness can block you from getting ahead in life so this point should not be taken lightly. This is especially true when everyone else has learned their lesson and are paying their bills on time and you are not doing the same. 

In having this slack mindset, where you put more emphasis on doing other things that are more important to you than paying your bills when scheduled, this is a bad habit that can spread to other parts of your life. Once you start doing things late, it can get contagious as one thing leads to another. After awhile you will soon be behind on more things than you realize.

For example, people who are known to be tardy typically handle their business transactions in the same lax manner. They are traditionally late in paying their bills, not handling their financial obligations timely, not paying their student loans on time, not paying their credit cards on time, and etc.  In other words, in following this always behind lifestyle you can fall into a financial hole that is so deep that you can’t get out. When you do this so often,  others will notice also and won’t come to your aide when you need them and that will hurt you more than you think. 

Once people associate you will this type of tardiness, it’s harder to get them to trust you again.  You may not know this is, but being tardy on business transactions can be very expensive for you as well. For example,  lending institutions will charge you much more for being a late paying customer. You will have to pay a higher interest rate on your transactions and they are able to do this to you because of your tardy track record. In order to save money, this tardy behavior of ours will have to be corrected. 

Additionally, if you didn’t know this before, most companies will waive your late fee once or twice per year, but you have to request for them to do so. However, you have to make that request within the same month for them to do so. These financial institutions won’t volunteer to give this information because it will lower their profits. But this late charge waive feature does exist and you should use it when it’s appropriate. I have personally had my late charges waived so you can do the same. Believe me that $40 late charge can add up quickly.

The late fee business is so profitable that everyone is joining in on the process. Currently, the furniture stores have late charges, the department stores late charges, the cable bill firms have late charges, the used car companies have late charges, the medical bill firms have late charges, the utility companies are now charging late fees, and the list goes on and on. All these late charges do add up to some extraordinary high figures, and at the end, that come out of our pockets.

I know that many of you are angry at me for bringing up this topic, as it’s a sore spot that so many of you don’t want to be reminded of. However, I thought that if you knew how much that it was costing you out of your pockets, this may trigger an interest in wanting to stop this abusive habit. 

Additionally, as a result of these late charges, our outstanding balances will continue to grow higher in the billing cycle which cost you more money.  If you have not looked at your bill recently, when calculating these late charges, it will show that you have not made any progress in cutting down this expense. After a while, we can fall so far behind in this process that when we do pay it only covers those nasty accumulated late charges. Believe me, this is not a good position to be in and it’s a very expensive lesson to learn. 

In being tardy we just don’t realize the impact that it has on you mentally, as well. The countless phone calls that you get from your creditor’s stinks and you just get tired of the entire process.  I have been guilty of being late on a lot of things myself so I’m writing this article based on personal experience. And to be honest, I have been late not just on a few occasions, but at many times and I had to go through the painful process of correcting this bad habit. 

Now, what can I do to change the tide on correcting this poor habit?  According to the professional banking officials, it’s better to pay the scheduled amount each month, than to pay one large payment now, and don’t make another payment for another three to four months. Your credit scores are looked unfavorably by these institutions when you make irregular payments. People that pay their bills regularly are considered the top-tier customers. The regular bill payers are the top-tier customers and they get the best interest rates.  For example, they can be offered a zero interest rate for a two-year period. In receiving zero rates like this, the wealthy people get to clear up their debts, and this is how they are able to stay ahead of most of us.

I know that this information is not new to many of us. But sometimes when we are reminded that in making some small changes in the way we pay our bills, it can change our status from being financially tardy, to being a good creditor. Changing our classification from being a high-risk borrower to a good paying client can eliminate incurring these high late fees. We also get to have our names put into the pool to receive those zero interest rate offers, and more importantly, allow others to perceive us differently.

I know for me, I’m not happy to read that the lending institutions are making billions of dollars off many of us, because of this bad habit. It is my hope that in reading this article, it will prompt you to consider making some changes in the way you pay your bills so that you are no longer can be a casualty to these lending institutions. As I have stated, billions of dollars are being charged to us because we are financially tardy, and if we can only make a small change in this behavior, we will be able to save ourselves thousands of dollars.

In closing, I have started using this method of paying my bills a few years ago. I began by giving each of my debtors their scheduled amount.by their due dates. On the accounts that have the higher revolving rates (ranging from 12% to 29%), I started paying them a little more than their scheduled amount when I could afford to do so. In using this process, it has helped to reduce my expenses at a faster rate. I also now know that if I keep using this strategy, not only will my late charges come to a halt, but I’ll feel better that I’m making a good strive in getting myself out of debt.