The first part of the year is always a financially troubling one. Between holidays and taxes, there are several holidays, spring break, and a several other items that end up costing money. Add to that the higher credit card bills and you may find yourself in trouble. Sometimes the best answer is to let one or two of your credit cards be a couple of days late so that you can be sure to have the money when the time comes.
It is always best to make payments on time, but if you have to decide between groceries, rent, and credit card bills, credit card bills are easily the least important. If you will have the payment just a few days after the due date, it will not be as bad as you think. However, be prepared for the late fee (varies according to the company). If you are only a few days late, it shouldn’t show up on your credit score as a late payment. You will need to monitor for it though, to make sure the credit card company did not report it as late. As long as you pay within 30 days of the due date, it should not count as late.
There are more cons, but you probably already know them by now. There will be a late fee, which makes it much harder to make the next payment. If you pay after 30 days, it will have a negative affect on your credit score. Your credit card company can increase your interest rate, making it even harder to make monthly payments. All of these can have a snowball effect.
Only consider making the payment late if you have no other choice. You may be able to work something out with the lender, or perhaps one of your other bills. Our phone company allows us to break up our payments during particularly difficult months, and I have used that on a few occasions to pay off the bill now, then with the rest paid two or three credit card on time. You should always contact the company of your credit card to discussion options. If you have an excellent payment history, they will be much more willing to work with you. You can also pay a little extra on one credit card, then use that to pay other bills or for groceries. Clearly this is not recommended, but it is far better than being very late with the payment or skipping it entirely.