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Bill delay: Why paying late isn't ideal but can be done safely

The two most horrifying words any consumer can possibly hear as it relates to paying a bill are, quite simply, "late payment."
Paying late on any sort of credit card is sure fire doom for anyone who likes their credit score where it is and isn't interested in having to explain why that score took a nose dive due to not paying on time.
And yes, credit cards and lines of credit need paid on time, every time no matter what the situation. Even if that means paying the absolute minimum, you want to ensure your credit score is going to remain intact.
But paying on time isn't always possible. If you're struggling with your income to debt ratio, you may have to make a calculated decision and pay late on at least something to get from one paycheck to the next. While not advisable, it often can be a necessary stressor and evil.
What exactly is OK to pay late?

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Well, you want to stay away from credit cards or anything associated with an automatic late fee. You should always consider a direct withdrawal on those types of bills, mostly because they can either have lower rates or the peace of mind for you to have it paid on time.
Paying late is considered acceptable for utility bills mainly or even those of the medical ilk. These typically carry grace periods with them, and don't have the interest rates that will not only lead to more debt and money spent on your part, but also a quick report to the credit bureau.
This isn't to suggest you should make a habit of paying late per say, but those aforementioned bills might be a little easier to digest. Of course, after so many months of being late (usually 3), the medical bill and utility companies aren't going to come looking for their money. What you want to avoid is such a long stretch of time that you're either disconnected from service or have an interruption that could potentially cost you more on top of having to pay the past due amount. There also is the danger of being sent to collections, which will in fact show up on your credit report.
No one enjoys paying bills late, but often your money woes dictate the decisions you have to make, good or bad. Keep in mind that paying late isn't the worst thing you can do, as long as you're selected the right ones to forget about for the time being.

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