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3 Electronic Bill Payment Tips

Electronic bill payment is much more convenient than writing checks and mailing payments for most people. There's no need to find a stamp and then find a mailbox. There are still some things you need to be aware of, however - otherwise you could face late payment fees and other charges.

The first thing you need to be aware of is that online payments generally don't get credited right when you make them. It can take several days for the payment to be applied to your bill. Even if your bank shows the transaction right away in your account, that doesn't mean the payment has been completed.

Make sure you always make electronic payments several days before the due date, to allow enough time for the payment to clear. This is especially important to payoff a credit card, where you can get charged hefty late payment fees as well as high interest rates for late payments.

Another tip for paying bills over the internet is to schedule payments for the best dates. You can deal with all your bills at once - credit cards, electric company, telephone, whatever you want - but you can schedule them to be paid either when they're due or when you'll have the money in your account.

For example, you can schedule the bill payments to come out on payday so you're sure that the money is there, and before you have a chance to spend it on something else. This can be a time-saver as well as a way to keep on top of your payments without having to deal with them more than once.

The third tip for making electronic payments is to always keep a record of the confirmation numbers. Most banks give you a confirmation number once the payment has been made. It's a good idea to print these out and attach them to your bill in case there is ever a problem with a payment.

If you have the confirmation number, your bank can track down the transaction more easily, and you will be able to provide proof of having made the payment if it was never received or processed by the company.

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