Late fees who needs them?
If you still mail in payments for bills you may have heard invaluable advice that as long as your payment is postmarked before the due date the postmark will save you from late fees. But alas the endearing postmark won’t save you from late fees.
The payment has to be received within a certain time period. At times it may appear the postmark is saving you from late fees if for instance, you’ve mailed the payment on the day of the due date or a day or two before its due and when the next bill comes there is no late fee.
This works sort of like a grace period. Usually you have so many days after the due date for the payment to be received. If the payment isn’t received in this grace period there will be a late fee.
Typically on the back of the bill will be the days, the date, involved in the grace period for that particular bill. If you don’t see the days, the date, for the grace period on the back of the bill check elsewhere on the bill. The grace period will change depending on the number of days in the month.
To avoid delays in the mail or delays in the receiving of the payment, payments should be mailed at least ten days in advance to allow for slack time. Holidays, which can delay mail, can cause payments to be received after the grace period tacking on late fees. Ten days in the case of Holidays may not be enough time for the payment to make it. Even Priority Mail has deadlines in which it can be sent and make it in time where it needs to go. Using Priority Mail to mail your payment will probably cost you more than a late fee would if you are trying to avoid late fees. Sending your payment through regular mail and getting hit with a late fee would still probably be much cheaper than using Priority Mail unless your payment gets lost. Payments received on the cusp of the grace period could go either way. You may or may not get stuck with a late fee.
The best way to avoid late fees is to mail your payment as soon as you get it or at least within the next few days after you get it and remember a postmark is just a postmark it won’t have a factor in late fees.