Tag: Shopping

Avoid late fees

If you don’t pay your rent on time, the landlord may charge you a late fee – which can be assessed at 5% of your rent payment or more.

“It’s nice to have the flexibility to charge your rent as an option if you hit a particularly tough month,” says Davis. “If tenants find themselves stretched too thin financially one month, it’s cheaper to charge their rent than let it go late – and it keeps them from falling behind and souring their relationship with their landlord.”

Cons of paying rent with a credit card

While paying with a credit card has its advantages, there are a few drawbacks to consider as well:

Fees

In the event you are responsible for the credit card processing fee, you’re looking at an increase in your monthly obligation. If the value of your credit card rewards doesn’t surpass the fees, you will lose – not gain – money.

To know if it makes financial sense, look at your card’s rewards program and compare its earnings rates to the transaction fees you’ll be charged. If the fee is 2.5% of the transaction, and you’re earning 1.5% in cash back, you’re losing 1% every month. So, for example, you’ll be out $15 for a $1,500 rent payment.

“It may not sound like much, but over time, it adds up,” says Ande Frazier, former editor-in-chief of MyWorth, a financial education media company. “And if money is tight, [it will impact] what you should be spending on, [like] something essential.”

Credit card debt

As convenient as it is to rely on a substantial credit line when you need it, it’s also easy to over-borrow. Elevated interest rates and low payments will put you into a deep hole.

“It’s a vicious cycle,” says Frazier.“That debt will grow and grow, and the compounding interest will be huge. If you can’t afford your rent, you’re living in the wrong place.”

Credit damage

Credit scores consider the amount of debt you owe and weigh it against the amount you can borrow. If you hit your limit and the balance stays anywhere near it, your scores will sink. Skip payment cycles, and those scores plummet further.

This puts you in a terrible position if you have to move. Almost all landlords check credit reports to see if you’re a low-risk tenant. So, if they see excessive debt and a pattern of missed payments, they may pass you over for tenancy.

See related: How to rent an apartment with bad credit

Final thoughts

In extreme situations, charging your rent and then paying incrementally can keep you in positive position with your landlord. To avoid credit card debt spiraling out of control, pay as much as you possibly can to the balance each month. Then when life returns to normal and you want to continue to charge your rent, make sure you always have the money in your checking account to cover the payment when the bill is due.

Source: creditcards.com