When it comes to managing your money, it can feel like a fine art of balancing what’s coming in and what’s going out. You may only get paid once or twice a month, but those bills don’t stop! It can seem hard to get ahead or feel like you have enough money month to month.
But there’s one hack that can help you master your cash flow and make a big difference in your personal finances. What is it? It’s simple: Change the due date on your bills.
Why changing your due date helps your cash flow
You may be thinking, “Changing my due date can help my finances?” You bet it can.
Many businesses, including credit card issuers, student loan servicers, and utility companies, may allow you to change your due date. Every company is different and some may not offer this privilege, but many do.
Changing your due date can help improve your cash flow because you can pay at a time that works best for you financially. If, for example, all of your bills are due on the first of the month, you may be feeling stretched thin until your next paycheck.
But if you change your due dates, you could have more cash on hand and make your payments more manageable. It’s key to be strategic with your due date so that you’ll have funds to easily pay your bills.
“If you get paid twice a month or four times a month, you can set your credit card due date to align with your check in the middle of the month,” says Stephen Lesavich, author of The Plastic Effect: How Urban Legends Influence the Use and Misuse of Credit Cards.
“Such an alignment will help you avoid late and penalty fees because you get in the mindset that the second check each month is for paying off credit card bills,” he says.
Changing your due date not only helps you avoid late and penalty fees, but it can also ensure there is enough money in your account and help you avoid overdraft or insufficient fund fees.
When I was paying off debt, I switched my student loan payment date to the 12th of the month. I now have my credit card bills due on the same date. Why? Because I get paid once a month and my income typically hits my account in the first 10 days of the month.
Getting paid once a month already makes cash flow a little more difficult, so it makes sense to change my due dates to a time when I know funds will be in my account. That way I don’t have to stress over paying my bills and can sleep well knowing I have the cash on hand to make payments.
Another way to streamline and master your cash flow is to choose one due date for many of your bills — preferably a few days after you get paid, so you’ll have money in your account. This way, you’ll know that specific date each month is for bill paying and can streamline your payments.
How to change your student loan payment date and more
If you’re looking to change your student loan payment date, credit card bill due date, and more, the first thing you need to do is contact your servicer to see if the option is available. If it is, you can change the due date online or over the phone.
“If you request a change of due date, ask for confirmation in writing so you will not be charged any late or penalty fees,” says Lesavich.
Additionally, you’ll want to make sure you know when your due date change takes effect. Will it change immediately or after several billing cycles?
Lastly, put that date in your calendar and set it as a recurring reminder. You may also consider setting up text or email alerts as well to help you stay on track.
The bottom line
Changing your student loan payment date, credit card due date, and other bills to something that makes sense for you financially can help improve your cash flow and your overall finances. It makes budgeting easier and helps avoid any late fees or insufficient fund fees.
The good news is that changing your due date doesn’t cost any money, nor does it hurt your credit score. What have you got to lose? This one simple hack can help you budget, free up some money, and help you master your cash flow.
Interested in refinancing student loans?Here are the top 6 lenders of 2019!
|Lender||Variable APR||Eligible Degrees|
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1 Important Disclosures for SoFi.
2 Important Disclosures for Earnest.
To qualify, you must be a U.S. citizen or possess a 10-year (non-conditional) Permanent Resident Card, reside in a state Earnest lends in, and satisfy our minimum eligibility criteria. You may find more information on loan eligibility here: https://www.earnest.com/eligibility. Not all applicants will be approved for a loan, and not all applicants will qualify for the lowest rate. Approval and interest rate depend on the review of a complete application.
Earnest fixed rate loan rates range from 3.89% APR (with Auto Pay) to 7.89% APR (with Auto Pay). Variable rate loan rates range from 2.50% APR (with Auto Pay) to 7.27% APR (with Auto Pay). For variable rate loans, although the interest rate will vary after you are approved, the interest rate will never exceed 8.95% for loan terms 10 years or less. For loan terms of 10 years to 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 9.95%. For loan terms over 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 11.95% (the maximum rates for these loans). Earnest variable interest rate loans are based on a publicly available index, the one month London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR). Your rate will be calculated each month by adding a margin between 1.82% and 5.50% to the one month LIBOR. The rate will not increase more than once per month. Earnest rate ranges are current as of April 17, 2019, and are subject to change based on market conditions and borrower eligibility.
Auto Pay discount: If you make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic, monthly deduction from a savings or checking account, your rate will be reduced by one quarter of one percent (0.25%) for so long as you continue to make automatic, electronic monthly payments. This benefit is suspended during periods of deferment and forbearance.
The information provided on this page is updated as of 04/17/2019. Earnest reserves the right to change, pause, or terminate product offerings at any time without notice. Earnest loans are originated by Earnest Operations LLC. California Finance Lender License 6054788. NMLS # 1204917. Earnest Operations LLC is located at 302 2nd Street, Suite 401N, San Francisco, CA 94107. Terms and Conditions apply. Visit https://www.earnest.com/terms-of-service, email us at email@example.com, or call 888-601-2801 for more information on our student loan refinance product.
© 2018 Earnest LLC. All rights reserved. Earnest LLC and its subsidiaries, including Earnest Operations LLC, are not sponsored by or agencies of the United States of America.
3 Important Disclosures for Laurel Road.
Laurel Road Disclosures
However, if the borrower chooses to make monthly payments automatically by electronic funds transfer (EFT) from a bank account, the fixed rate will decrease by 0.25%, and will increase back up to the regular fixed interest rate described in the preceding paragraph if the borrower stops making (or we stop accepting) monthly payments automatically by EFT from the designated borrower’s bank account.
However, if the borrower chooses to make monthly payments automatically by electronic funds transfer (EFT) from a bank account, the variable rate will decrease by 0.25%, and will increase back up to the regular variable interest rate described in the preceding paragraph if the borrower stops making (or we stop accepting) monthly payments automatically by EFT from the designated borrower’s bank account.
All credit products are subject to credit approval.
Laurel Road began originating student loans in 2013 and has since helped thousands of professionals with undergraduate and postgraduate degrees consolidate and refinance more than $4 billion in federal and private school loans. Laurel Road also offers a suite of online graduate school loan products and personal loans that help simplify lending through customized technology and personalized service. In April 2019, Laurel Road was acquired by KeyBank, one of the nation’s largest bank-based financial services companies. Laurel Road is a brand of KeyBank National Association offering online lending products in all 50 U.S. states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico. All loans are provided by KeyBank National Association, a nationally chartered bank. Member FDIC. For more information, visit www.laurelroad.com.
4 Important Disclosures for LendKey.
Refinancing via LendKey.com is only available for applicants with qualified private education loans from an eligible institution. Loans that were used for exam preparation classes, including, but not limited to, loans for LSAT, MCAT, GMAT, and GRE preparation, are not eligible for refinancing with a lender via LendKey.com. If you currently have any of these exam preparation loans, you should not include them in an application to refinance your student loans on this website. Applicants must be either U.S. citizens or Permanent Residents in an eligible state to qualify for a loan. Certain membership requirements (including the opening of a share account and any applicable association fees in connection with membership) may apply in the event that an applicant wishes to accept a loan offer from a credit union lender. Lenders participating on LendKey.com reserve the right to modify or discontinue the products, terms, and benefits offered on this website at any time without notice. LendKey Technologies, Inc. is not affiliated with, nor does it endorse, any educational institution.
5 Important Disclosures for CommonBond.
Offered terms are subject to change. Loans are offered by CommonBond Lending, LLC (NMLS # 1175900). If you are approved for a loan, the interest rate offered will depend on your credit profile, your application, the loan term selected and will be within the ranges of rates shown.
All Annual Percentage Rates (APRs) displayed assume borrowers enroll in auto pay and account for the 0.25% reduction in interest rate. All variable rates are based on a 1-month LIBOR assumption of 2.49% effective March 10, 2019.
6 Important Disclosures for Citizens Bank.
Citizens Bank Disclosures
|2.50% – 7.27%1||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.50% – 7.12%3||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.53% – 8.79%4||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.50% – 6.65%2||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.55% – 7.12%5||Undergrad & Graduate|
|3.00% – 9.74%6||Undergrad & Graduate|