Forget Autopay — When Is It a Good Idea To Pay Bills Early? (if Ever)

Asian women counting college savings fund, tuition fee for student loan with calculator.
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Automating your finances has become increasingly popular in recent years as technology makes it simple to do so. Chances are, you have some or all of your bills on autopay.

But is that wise? It may make more sense to pay your bills early. Apart from never paying a late fee, here are a few other benefits of this money management strategy:

A Sense of Relief

There’s something satisfying and comforting about knowing all your bills have been paid for this month. You won’t have to think about them for a little while. Plus, the rest of the money in your checking account is actually yours, free to spend on whatever you wish. If you pay your bills early, you can enjoy this sense of freedom and relief sooner in the month.

Time To Fix Issues

Have you ever had a creditor or service provider tell you that they haven’t received a payment you’re sure you sent? It’s a nerve-wracking experience that can leave you scrambling — especially if your due date is near. But if you pay your bills early, you’ll have plenty of time to contest and correct these issues.


Sometimes, you can save money by paying your bills early. For example, according to Allstate, many car insurance companies offer discounts to consumers who pay their entire premium upfront rather than in monthly installments. Depending on where you live, you may also qualify for a discount if you pay your property taxes early.

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Should You Stop Using Autopay?

While paying your bills early has advantages, that doesn’t mean you should cancel all your automatic payments. Instead, consider the pros and cons of autopay as they apply to your situation.

For example, you may not want to automatically pay bills that vary from month to month, such as utilities. The payment could overdraw your account if you get a higher bill than expected.

On the other hand, fixed expenses, like your auto loan, are great candidates for autopay. You may also want to set up automatic payments if you’re extremely busy or often forgetful.

One great tip: Treat paying for your future as a bill you put on autopay. Set up automatic transfers from your checking account to your savings and investment accounts.

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