Dumb Credit Question

OK, I am dumb as a brick when it comes to personal finances …

I have accumulated some credit card debt & am trying to pay it all down and/or off.

If I make an “extra” payment in the middle of a billing cycle – above and beyond the “expected” regular payment –

Am I expected and/or obligated to make the “regular” payment by the due date at the end of the billing cycle ???

How might the “extra” payment affect my “new monthly credit” ?

Thanks for any clarification.

It’s only an extra payment if there is a second one coming before the billing period ends (payment due date). If you don’t make a second, then the lone one is just a monthly payment.

Billing cycles are for interest calcs. Payment are just due by a certain date.

Yes, this is my experience. As long as you pay at least the minimum payment sometime during each billing cycle, you are ok.

For example, if your billing cycle is from the 1st to the end of the month with the due date being the last day of the month, you owe $5000, and you make a minimum payment of $50 on May 20th, and then pay an additional $400 on May 25th, you still have to make a June payment. If you had waited until June 1 to pay that $400, you would have made at least the minimum payment for May and June and thus would not get socked as late even if you didn’t pay anything else in June.

I think the date of payment is normally taken as the day that they payment is officially processed, not the date you mailed the letter containing payment.

My guess is that if you made multiple little payments during the billing period that, in total, added up to the minimum payment you would be ok, but I’ve never done that.

Things vary, but this has never been my experience with a revolving credit card account. IME, once May’s minimum payment has been satisfied, any additional payments (not additional amount on the same payment, note) have always gone toward satisfying the following month’s minimum payment. I have never seen it go more than one month out, though.

In other words: say my minimum payment is $50 as in the above example. If I make my May payment of $50 on May 20, then pay $100 on May 25, when I get my next statement, my experience has always been that I will find I have a minimum payment of $0 for June.

However, if I pay $150 on May 20, my June payment will be unaffected.

Under either circumstance, my July payment will be back to $50.

Again, this is merely the experience I have had and may not be universal.

As always, you should check with your lender for details.

On every credit card I’ve ever had, all payments go against the balance of the card and the minimum payment is met based on the total payments. Extra payments are usually not taken into consideration for future months, but applied to principal right away (however, I had a card that would consider an overpayment as a reduction in the next month’s minimum).

On my student loans, though, an overpayment has to be specifically indicated as principal reduction or they hold it and apply it to the next month’s payment. This lowers the next month’s minimum payment and does not lower the interest calculation the way a payment to principal would.