Hey everyone! In the past I’ve started my posts with scenarios. Well, the scenario I would have written was going to sound quite similar to one I’ve detailed in the past, so I’m going to get to all the good stuff instead. In today’s day in age, technology has become extremely advanced to the point you can even lock your home doors from a faraway location via cell phone apps. With all these technological conveniences, it’s a wonder why companies still have late fees. The point of this story is: Auto Pay! I have debated on setting my own bills on Auto Pay for quite some time for the simple reason of consequence. For example, what if I don’t have all the money in my bank account by the date this company plans on taking it out? What if I get charged a bank fee and a late fee from this particular company? We’ll those fears are legitimate, as others have shared the same. Here are some ways to make this as fool proof as possible:
1. Carefully read the Terms and Conditions before setting an account on Auto Pay.
Most people generally scroll to the bottom and simply click “agree” instead of reading through it all. Then, at a later time, find an unknown charge or increased minimum payment on their account that the customer service representative explains was on the agreement. Trust me, it’s better just to read it all and save it after. This contract will detail any scenario that may occur and the action of the 1st and 2nd party (the company and yourself). If this agreement changes at any time, the company you do business with should let you know via letter or e-mail.
*Please note: If your Auto Pay rule is set for the minimum payment due and that minimum is increased for any reason, the company you do business with may require you make a second payment or they will just take it out themselves. Again, this is something you will read in the Terms and Agreement.
2. Browse upcoming months to discover when the best date to set this recurring payment to.
While the date may be perfect this month, what happens when the next Auto Pay rule is set before your next pay day? I looked through every month to make sure the date is convenient, not only by pay days, but also by what day of the week it falls on. Say your bill is due on the 9th and you set your Auto Pay rule for the due date; your bill could be late. Some companies give a pass if your account is set an Auto Pay. Some will charge you a late fee. Some companies even take the money out on the Friday prior so you can avoid these fees. I prefer the less risky approach, so I do the research myself and set the Auto Pay rule for a few days in advance.
3. Don’t forget to check your bill!
At any time, for any reason, your bill can change. Just because your account is set on Auto Pay doesn’t mean you never have to open your mail (or your e-mail, for you savvy people out there). One time my credit card company removed $80 from my account instead of $35 so while I have been guilty of this, I have been working to break that habit little by little.
I hope this post helps you all become less stressed about paying your bills. Also, please remember that not one of us is perfect! Being perfectly organized does not happen overnight! This is a process that takes mistakes and learning from them. Good luck, you all.