Credit cards are a wonderful tool for consumers and also part of the American economy. The industry generates billions of dollars in interest and fees, while providing a valuable service to consumers by letting them access their credit lines quickly and easily. Consumers who use their credit lines responsibly can also benefit by increased credit scores that can ultimately land them better and cheaper credit. One way to help ensure a smooth transition when managing your credit card payments is to take advantage of the online bill pay services and notices offered by your bank.
Within the past decade, the online banking industry has taken the financial world by storm. Most banks offer complimentary online banking as part of their checking accounts and customers would be wise to take advantage of the system. Online banking is a service that will send money out of your account to “payees” that you can be set up easily through the system. By taking the time to set up all the creditors that you need to pay in a timely fashion, you will be taking steps to ensure timely bill payments.
When you first open your checking account (whether virtually or in a bank branch), you will be asked if you want online banking. Say yes! You will most likely be prompted to set up an account name and password for yourself. Once done, you will be able to manage your finances without having to handle paper bills or checks.
Once you have access to your account, grab copies of all your paper bills and visit the “bill pay” section of your online banking. Once in there, there will be tons of easy to follow instructions on how to use the system, but the first step is adding your “payees” to the system. The online banking system should have a section that says something like “add a payee” and with your stack of bills by your side, you should be able to get all the information required (such as payee’s name, their mailing address and your account number) to easily add them to the system.
Once all your payees have been added, you can immediately schedule a bill payment to that payee. Usually you can have the choice to add a one-time payment or a reoccurring payment plan. If the payment due is constant, like for a student loan or a mortgage payment, it will be more convenient to set up a reoccurring plan so you do not have to deal with that monthly. You can also request “e-bills” through your banking system. When a new bill is issued, such as for a credit card payment, you will receive an online notification and email letting you know that the bill will be due shortly.
Using online bill pay and notices is a great system as you can save time, money and even the environment. The system is more efficient then writing checks, you will save money on postage and less paper bills means less dead trees!