Mortgages usually involve a larger monthly payment than most other types of loans. If you have one, it may have crossed your mind whether you can use your credit card to pay.
Yes, you can. But while it is possible, it is important to consider the risks and benefits surrounding it before making a decision.
In this article, we'll explore the steps, benefits, and drawbacks of using credit cards for mortgage payments as well as their alternatives. Read through and see whether it's a good option for you or not.
5 Steps to Pay Your Mortgage with a Credit Card
Step 1: Do A Credit Report Check
Before you start paying your mortgage with a credit card, you need to check your credit report. This is because your credit score can be impacted, at least temporarily, when you use your credit card to pay your mortgage.
One of the factors that affect your credit score is your credit utilization ratio. If you use a significant amount of your available credit to make mortgage payments, it can increase your credit utilization ratio and lower your credit score.
Step 2: Consider Your Financial Capability
Before choosing a credit card payment method for your mortgage payment, consider your financial capability. Can you pay your credit balance in due time? Since credit cards allow advances, you may have to use them to cater for your expenses and pay them back later.
However, if you fail to pay your credit balance on or before the due date, interest will be charged continuously, thereby increasing your debts.
So, if you plan on using a credit card for the mortgage payment, ensure that you can fully pay off your credit balance each month. This will help avoid debt accumulation.
Step 3: Check with All Three Parties
Most mortgage lenders don't allow you to make direct payments with credit cards. Therefore, you need to check with three parties - your card network, card issuer, and mortgage lender - to see if they allow this.
Likewise, some credit card companies may place restrictions on mortgage payments. If you intend to pay the mortgage with your credit card, it's best to inquire about the rules before opening an account or making payments.
Step 4: Check For A Third-party Service That Accepts Credit Card Payments
If your card network and issuer allow you to make mortgage payments with your credit card, you'll need to find a third-party service that accepts credit card payments for mortgage payments.
One such service is Plastiq, which allows you to pay your mortgage with Mastercard and Discover cards. However, it's important to note that these services charge a processing fee, which can be expensive.
Step 5: Exchange Gift Cards For Money Orders
If you have a pin-abled Visa gift card, you can convert it into a money order and use it to pay your mortgage.
This method can be more affordable than using a third-party service since there are no processing fees involved. However, not all mortgage lenders accept money orders, so it's essential to check with your lender before proceeding.
3 Benefits of Paying Your Mortgage with Credit Cards
Qualify For Rewards
Using your credit card for mortgage payments can earn you some rewards from your issuing company. Many of them offer juicy rewards, like cashback, miles, or points every time you use your card for payments.
You can redeem these rewards and use them for your travels, vacation, dinner, and other experiences, depending on the terms.
Some credit card companies also offer welcome bonuses for opening an account with them and meeting the spending requirements. You can open a new credit card account, aimed at making your monthly payments. Since the payment will be high and consistent, you will earn the welcome bonus and meet the bonus requirements more quickly.
Avoid Missed Or Late Payment Penalties
Using your credit card can save you from late payment penalties. This is because even when your balance is low or your check is late, you can always get an advance on your credit card to settle the payment.
Note, however, that using a credit card may harm your credit score eventually, especially if you don't pay off advances in time. As payments are deducted automatically, your credit card balance will increase, causing your credit score to suffer.
Foreclosure is the legal step a mortgage lender takes to claim a borrower's property, sell, and recover the owed amount in case of default.
Using your credit card for mortgage payments can easily help prevent foreclosure when you're low on cash. You can easily use your advance to cover the expense and repay the credit before the due date.
Warning: All of the above benefits come only when you can pay your credit card debt off. If you carry a balance on your credit card, the high-interest rates can offset any rewards you earn, and you could end up paying more interest charges than you receive in rewards.
5 Cons of Paying Mortgages with a Credit Card
Mortgage Payment via Credit Card Can be Complex
Mortgage lenders typically do not accept direct credit card payments, so you'll need to find a workaround. This usually involves using a third-party service, which can be expensive due to processing fees.
It Can Harm Your Credit Score
Another disadvantage of using your credit card for a mortgage payment is that it can harm your credit score.
When you make your monthly payment on a zero credit card balance, you have taken an advance which you must settle before the due date. If you fail to load your credit card and pay off the debt in time, it will be reported in your credit history. That means your credit score may drop.
May Increase Your Total Debt
Paying your mortgage with a credit card may further increase your total debt. The reason is, if you use a credit card advance to make payments for your mortgage, that's another debt.
Ordinarily, you are meant to pay a certain amount into your credit card account on certain dates to erase the debt and avoid accumulating interest rates.
However, if you cannot make timely payments on your credit card balance, your debt increases as the interest rate adds up. This can cause financial stress and potentially harm your credit score, eventually.
Interest Rates On Credit Cards Are High
Compared to the average mortgage interest rate, the average credit card interest rate is significantly higher.
According to Bankrate, the average mortgage interest rate in 2021 was 3.05%, while the average credit card interest rate was around 16.03%. If you carry a balance on your credit card, you'll be paying significantly more interest charges than if you made your mortgage payments directly.
The Processing Fee is High
Third-party services that allow you to pay your mortgage with a credit card often charge a processing fee, which can be expensive. For example, Plastiq charges a fee of 2.9% of the transaction amount, which can add up quickly if you're making significant mortgage payments.
In conclusion, while there are benefits to paying your mortgage with a credit card, it's essential to weigh the risks and drawbacks before making a decision. If you can't afford to pay off the credit card balance quickly, the high-interest rates and processing fees can quickly add up, putting you deeper into debt.
3 Alternatives to Paying Mortgages with Credit Cards
If you decide that paying your mortgage with a credit card is not the right choice for you, there are three alternative options to consider.
If your mortgage lender accepts PayPal payments, you can use this service to pay your mortgage directly from your PayPal account. This can be a convenient and secure option, especially if you already use PayPal for other payments.
If you don't have an account, you can create one for free and link it to your debit, credit, or bank account.
Note that; not all lenders accept Paypal payments. If yours doesn't, you should ask for acceptable options.
If you're struggling to make your mortgage payments, you may be eligible for a mortgage forbearance.
Mortgage forbearance is when your lender allows you to stop payment temporarily or reduce your mortgage payment while you build your finances.
This is a temporary reduction or suspension of your mortgage payments, which can provide relief if you're experiencing financial hardship.
Mortgage forbearance may attract extra payments or additional fees, depending on the lender. You just have to discuss your financial situation with your lender and reach a compromise.
If your lender agrees to the mortgage forbearance, they will not foreclose on your mortgage during the relief period. Note that not all lenders allow this, so it is crucial to find out if it's possible and your eligibility.
However, it's essential to understand that forbearance does not forgive your mortgage debt, and you'll still be required to make up the missed payments in the future.
If you're having difficulty making your mortgage payments, seeking the help of a financial counselor can be a good option.
A financial counselor can provide you with personalized advice on how to manage your finances and create a plan to pay off your mortgage debt. They can also provide resources and guidance on debt management, budgeting, and other financial issues.
Is It Possible To Make Mortgage Payments With My Capital One Credit Card?
Yes, you can pay your mortgage with a Capital One credit card. However, you have to check with your servicer if they accept credit card payments. If they do, you can then use your Capital One credit card to pay your mortgage by linking it to a Mastercard and paying via Plastiq.
Is Paying Bills With a Credit Card OK?
Yes, it is OK to pay bills with your credit card but ensure that you pay off your advances before the due dates monthly.
It is important to note that there may be bills associated with using your credit card for payments. You may be required to pay fees such as convenience and processing fees. Also, note that failure to make your payments on or before the due date can attract an interest rate. This may increase your total debt and harm your credit score
Is it Possible To Pay My Rent With A Credit Card?
Yes, you can pay your rent using a credit card, but this depends on a couple of factors. Your landlord must confirm that they accept credit card payments. Some may prefer other payment means like money orders, cash, or bank transfers. It is best to confirm before making any payment.
Again, you should check with your credit card company to know whether it has restrictions or rules on rent payments. This will help you make an informed decision as to whether to use your credit card for rent payments or not.
Lastly, if both parties agree to rent payment with a credit card, ensure you can pay off your balance. When you use your credit card to pay the rent and other expenses, you are expected to pay off the advance on or before due dates monthly.
In conclusion, while paying your mortgage with a credit card can be a convenient option for some, it's important to consider the potential drawbacks and explore alternative options.
If you're considering paying your mortgage with a credit card, be sure to check with your mortgage lender, card issuer, and card network to see if this is allowed.
If not, using PayPal, seeking mortgage forbearance, or consulting with a financial counselor can be effective alternatives to help you manage your finances and stay on track with your mortgage payments.
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