Bills – it is our least favorite thing to deal with. But without bills to pay, we can’t enjoy most home services. It can even deny us some necessities, like bathing water and electricity.
But despite their importance, it’s easy to forget to pay bills on time. This is especially true if we’re subscribed to several services, like Netflix, cable TV, and a phone network. Add to that your credit cards and other loans. The list can go on and on, and keeping track of them can drive you nuts.
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Now that two years have passed since the pandemic, lenders and providers may not be so forgiving anymore. That said, be organized and use these hacks to always pay your bills on time:
1. Use Internet Banking
Internet banking isn’t just created to check our account balances. It serves other functions, too, such as transferring funds to another account, depositing money to another bank, and paying bills. An online banking app usually includes a “Pay Bills” option. Merchants, such as utility providers and telecommunication companies, are already registered on the app. Hence, all you need to do is select the name of the company you’re paying, and type the amount you owe them. The app may ask you to provide a One-time PIN (OTP) or your password to verify your transaction. After that, your bill is paid and you’re done.
Some banks charge a small fee for using this feature. But it’s worth it, considering the convenience you’re getting. What’s more, using online bills payment can give you the option to receive e-bills. Once you receive the e-bill, the app or your e-mail will notify you that it’s time to pay.
2. Sign Up For Automatic Payments
If your bank account is always sufficiently funded, consider signing up for automatic payments. As its name suggests, it automatically deducts your bills from your account balance. This is best for debts like car loans, student loans, and home loans. Netflix, Microsoft 365, and other entertainment and professional services allow automatic payments. This option allows you to settle your bills without lifting so much as a finger. A text message or e-mail message will inform you when your bills have been paid.
3. Set Up Reminders
The good old method of setting up reminders never fails. If you can’t trust your own memory, set alerts on your smartphone. If you have a calendar or planner, cross out the deadlines of your bills. Once your reminder goes off (or you saw it on your calendar or planner), pay your bills immediately. Drop whatever you are doing and dedicate a few minutes for bills payment. If you’re using internet banking, you wouldn’t even take ten minutes. Ignoring your reminders and telling yourself that you’d pay later can only result in another memory gap.
4. Organize Your Bills in One Place
If you receive your bills in the mail, gather them in one place, like your work desk or bedside table. Most people use their kitchen counters as a bill drop-off but try not to. It is usually a recipe for forgetting and missing yet another due date.
Ensure that you’d place your bills where you’d easily see them. In other words, don’t put them out of sight. Avoid keeping them inside a drawer, even if it makes your desk clutter-free. The only time your bills should go inside the drawer is when you’ve already paid them.
5. Consolidate Your Bills
Loan payments can be consolidated. Such is called debt consolidation. It is a new loan that transfers all your debts to another lender, whom you have to pay back in turn. Debt consolidation helps borrowers on the brink of bankruptcy, but it’s also convenient for people who tend to miss their payments more than once.
What Happens When You Miss Bill Payments
Paying your bills past the grace period won’t necessarily warrant a lawsuit. But it would create many inconveniences. For example, if you forgot to pay your water bill, the provider may cut off your water supply. Similarly, if you didn’t pay your electric bill, your home may lose power.
But the bigger trouble arises if it’s a credit card bill you keep on missing. Lagging by 60 days can trigger a penalty fee, which can be as high as 30% of your outstanding balance. Worse, the credit card company could keep charging you that fee for six months until they’ve reviewed your account and decided whether it’s safe to deduct the rate or not.
Late rent payments are a common cause of trouble as well. Some landlords can go violent with rogue tenants. Though they’re forbidden by the law to hurt you, nothing will stop them if they want to teach you a lesson.
Hence, get your bearings and start using these ways to avoid delaying your payments. Your credit score will flourish in turn, making you a favorable client.