US mail delays create financial risk of late payments, unexpected fees


Summary generated on August 16, 2020

    As anyone who has ever paid a credit card bill late could tell you, paying even one day late can mean a $35 or $40 fee, plus interest charges.

    If the mail might take a week or more instead of two or three days, consumers are more likely to face late fees.

    Utility companies, homeowner associations, tax collectors - just about an entity that you might pay by mail could impose late fees if your bill arrives late.

    If you are used to getting your bills in the mail, they might be showing up late, too, which makes it all the more likely you'll pay them late.

    Personally, I pay most of my bills online, but I get the bills delivered by mail because I want to review them and keep the paper records.

    Pro tip: If you are late on a credit card bill, call that toll-free number and ask them to waive the late fee and any interest charges.

    A small bonus is that if you have a credit card that gives cash back, and you always pay the credit card bill on time and avoid interest charges, and there's no added fee for using a credit card, then you save money by paying that way.