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There really is a significant difference between the way Activity Dates, Paid-thru Dates, and Next Payment Due Dates are used by GMS-RLSS programming.
This is the date the money actually “changes hands” – either loan funds are disbursed to a borrower or a payment is received from a borrower. It is especially important to enter the correct Activity Date when loans are based on daily interest calculations, because this is the date the programming uses to calculate the interest portion of the payment. If not using daily interest, entering the date is a good way to document the history of a loan. It’s often important to both staff and borrowers to have a good record of actual dates disbursements and repayments took place.
If the loan is established as daily interest, interest will begin to accrue as of the Activity Date on the first disbursement. When the first payment is received, interest will be posted based on how many days have elapsed, or “passed”, since the funds were disbursed. In most cases, this calculation and posting will then bring the loan’s interest “current”. It then begins to accrue again as of the Activity Date entered with the repayment, and so on.
In nearly every situation, this is the date the payment was actually due. If appropriate fields are completed within the Loan Master file, the program will automatically calculate the new paid-thru date as payments are recorded. Of course, you always have the option to override, which may become necessary if partial payments are received, or if more than one payment is received with the same activity date.
Next Payment Due Date:
This is the date the next payment is due by. Normally, it will be one payment cycle after the Paid-Thru Date. However, if the client will not be making payments until some future period, that date is what should be entered here.
Being certain an accurate Paid-thru Date and Next Payment Due date are recorded when payments are posted will help with calculating delinquencies. It can quickly be determined by looking at a loan history if the account is current, or how delinquent it may have become. These two dates are used for late fee calculations and delinquencies on reports.
IMPORTANT NOTE: The accuracy of these three date fields is vitally important. After an activity has been saved, if you need to correct the Paid Thru Date or Next Payment Due Date, you may do so by going to Tools, Build History. If the Activity Date was incorrect and adjusting entry would need to be made to reverse the activity.