Having all of your bills due on or near the same date leads to potential cash flow problems if you have multiple paydays spread throughout the month. Changing your credit card due date helps alleviate this problem and can improve your cash flow.
Changing your credit card due date usually is a quick process that can be handled with a quick call to your card issuer's customer service, typically found on the back of the card. Some credit card issuers, like Capital One, let you change your due date online or via a mobile app.
Steps to Changing Your Credit Card Due Date
The first step to changing your credit card due date is selecting a date that makes the most sense for your finances. If you are paid every two weeks, it's good to have some bills due on the first of the month or shortly thereafter and some bills due around the 15th, or shortly thereafter. This allows you to better align your paydays with your due dates.
Calculate how much you owe on your bills each month and when those bills are due. Shift your credit card due date to a time period when you are paying the least amount of money toward your bills. That way, you won't have all the highest payments due at the same time of the month.
Since credit card payments are due on the same date each month, you won't be able to select the 29th, 30th, or 31st, since those dates do not occur in every month.
You may have to catch up on any past-due balance before you can change your credit card due date. Some card issuers, like Chase, require your account to be current before the change can be made. If you're behind on your payments and can't afford to catch up right away, talk to your credit card issuer about making payment arrangements or entering a hardship plan.
To actually make the change, call your credit card issuer's customer service department using the number on the back of your card. They'll ask for your desired due date, then make the change. You also may be able to log on to your online account and make the change yourself.
After the Change
It may take a couple of billing cycles for your new due date to be effective. Continue to pay close attention to the payment due date on your billing statement so your payments are on time. Once your due date change becomes effective, that's the due date you'll have each month going forward.
Your first statement after you change your payment due date may have a higher finance charge if the first billing cycle after the change is longer than normal. Don't worry. Your finance charge and minimum payment will return to more typical amounts on your next billing statement.
If You Can't Change the Due Date
If your credit card issuer doesn't let you change your payment due date, you still can change your payment habits. For example, if your payment is due on the 17th, you might pay it with the paycheck you get on the first of the month rather than the one you get on the 15th. If you sign up for online billing, you can confirm your payment amount as soon as your billing statement is ready rather than waiting for it to come in the mail.
You can also try changing the due date of another payment, like your phone bill or utility payment. If you change the due date of one of these services, your first payment after the change may include some prorated charges.
Statement Closing Date
Changing your payment due date does not necessarily change your statement closing date. The closing date is when your credit card issuer reports your credit utilization to the credit bureaus. This is important to remember because your credit utilization impacts your credit score. The more credit you have that is unused the better your credit score will be.
For example, if your statement closing date is the 28th of the month, your card issuer will report your balance to the credit bureau as of that date. So, regardless of when you pay your bill or what your average balance is throughout the month, the credit utilization portion of your credit score will be determined by your balance on the closing date. Keep this in mind when deciding the best time to pay your bill.