Paying bills online

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-14-2002
Paying bills online
Thu, 05-01-2003 - 2:22am
I just wondered how many people in here pay their bills online?

We've found this to be a HUGE advantage, especially with our credit card accounts and my student loan. When there's a little extra money in the checking account, it's sooo easy to log onto our credit card account and make a payment. We do this several times a month - even if it's just $10 or so. (have to be careful with one of them, though - only allows five online payments a month.) This prevents us from changing our minds, and gets that snowflake money sent out as fast as it came in. I've been known in the past to write checks to pay bills, then the next day - before the mailman comes - snatch one or two out of the mailbox and tear up the checks to spend the money on something else (intending to pay it later). Paying online STOPS that nasty habit dead in its tracks.

We also have as many payments as possible set up for automatic debit from our checking - mortgage, electric, gas, cable, security system, student loan... Keeps us honest, MAKES us get the bills paid on time and have to keep the balance up in the account - talk about self-discipline!

Any opinions?



Avatar for judy_jetson
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Thu, 05-01-2003 - 8:08am

I am such a fan of online bill paying. I set my bills up for automatic payments every month, makes it so much easier. I also have my mortgage and utilities come out of our checking acct each month. I agree, makes it easier for me and I know that every month, the money HAS to be in there, so it's sort of like a goal for me. The only thing I don't have set up for automatic payment is our car payments. This is because I don't want the surprise of the excise tax every year to be taken out and us not have enough money in there.

I find it very secure doing this online, so thumbs up from me!


Avatar for jajaadetton
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-29-2003
Thu, 05-01-2003 - 8:55am
I only write out maybe 3 checks a month, the rest of it is taken out by the company via auto pay. Our mortgage and everything else gets deducted so I dont' have to worry about it. Now that I have my BAD creidt cards out adn gone, I can easily pay off the good credit cards via their website. I do it every paycheck and daily when I balance my checkbook. Makes my life so much easier and takes the stress out of billpaying!

I truly love technology.

Andi D.

Avatar for zaboz
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Thu, 05-01-2003 - 9:00am
I love online payments. Just like you, I was guilty in the past of spending the money for checks that I already wrote too! Or writing the check and never mailing it.

One company dragged their feet forever (high speed internet company, go figure).

Now they finally offer it but they take it out on the day the bill comes out, not the

day the bill is due. I think that's really odd. But on the positive side, we're always a month ahead.

We just refinanced and I'm relieved

that our new mortgage company offers online bill pay.

If you pay on the first business day of the month, it's free.

But from that point on the fee slowly increases throughout the month.

If you pay during the last half of the month it's $12! How stupid is that?!?

I had to call and make sure that I could prepay and not be charged. What a bizarre


And our cell phone company doesn't offer it at all. I have to call up and use my

card over the phone. Well at least I don't have to mail a...what are they called?...

oh yeah, a check. I could never find a stamp or I would lose the envelope. Online

payments have helped us so much!

It's nice for savings too. I try (try being the key word) to transfer 10% of every paycheck over to ING and forget the money was ever there. I love logging in to see our savings account growing!

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Thu, 05-01-2003 - 9:03am
I love online bill pay. The only checks I write each month are my two student loans and the electric bill. That's only because they don't offer on line payment. I agree that it's great to be able to send extra payments at the click of a mouse.



Avatar for akirez
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Thu, 05-01-2003 - 10:14am
I just started using online bill pay in December and absolutely love it! My DH talked me into it since that's the way he pays his bills. My car and student loans are directly debited from my account, but I pay my credit cards and power bills online. That way, they can't say that they didn't receive my payments on time and charge me a late fee. I haven't had any late payments at all since I started using online bill pay! Plus, you save stamps and envelopes!


iVillage Member
Registered: 03-28-2003
Thu, 05-01-2003 - 10:38am
Online checking, bill paying, and Budgetmap are the best money money management tools I've ever used. I've been using online checking since 06/2002 and it is the best. With the bank I use they can send electronic transfers or paper checks. Some of my bills with local companies don't accept electronic transfers so the bank mails a paper check. I don't have to write and mail a single payment. Even down to the local flower shop that I might have to pay only once a year I can do online.

Using Budgetmap and online paying I've been able to send in 38 payments to my target cc debt since 03/01/02. The least payment I've sent was $2.17. I don't combine all my little payments into one because I want to send them as soon I discover the funds and I love seeing a long list on payments on my cc statement replace the long list of charges that use to show up each month.

I did have a problem one month with my telephone bill payment. I was behind on listing transactions in my check register. I sat down to get it caught up and found that I had misplaced a decimal when I enter my telephone bill payment. The online payment to my telephone company went out in the amount of $2071.00, instead of $20.71, one hundred times the correct payment amount. I caught it just in the nick of time. My telephone company is local so a paper check had been sent out and I was able to go to their office and retrieve the incorrect payment and replace it with a personal check for the correct amount. This almost caused me a heart attack. LOL


Avatar for phoenixmama
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-20-2003
Thu, 05-01-2003 - 10:51am
I pay as many bills online as possible. The only checks I have to write are for rent, cable internet (go figure) and electric. I'm nervous about signing up for any automatic bill pay, just because I want full control over what day the payment goes so I can make sure the money is there and track it. I wanted to do the automatic transfer with my ING account on my paydays, but they don't have the option to do it every 2 weeks. You can only do it weekly, monthly, or like the 1st and 15th - bummer.

One tip I'd like to share, is to ALWAYS print the confirmation page! You never know when some glitch is going to goof up your payment. I paid my car insurance a few months ago and for some reason it wasn't processed for about 20 days, so my next bill was double. Luckily it did go through and thankfully, they don't charge a late fee, but now I do print confirmations and save them until the next bill comes, just in case.

Or, if you want to go paperless, you can save the page by clicking File -> Save as... and save as an HTML file under a folder you will remember. Then you should be able to print later if you need to, images may not come through but at least you have the info.

Avatar for cl_phocid
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Thu, 05-01-2003 - 12:43pm
LOVE, LOVE, LOVE online bill paying. I do exactly the same thing - toss extra money whenever I feel I can at cc's. It's so empowering! I think it's a great way to manage your budget.

I don't have any automatic deductions set up - well, except for car loan - because I prefer the power of making the payments, but as far as I can tell, you just Can't go wrong with electronic payments!

All my best,


All my best,

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-19-2003
Thu, 05-01-2003 - 3:49pm
Gosh, I have been using online or telephone banking for years. (I used to work for a bank and started using the moment we offered it). I rarely step into a branch anymore. Everything I do is online. The only time I have gone to a bank (other than ATM) is to deposit cash with ds - its usually his money (gifts and change we save). I want him to learn about banks and I figure thats a start. I use one check a month for rent and that is becuase the rental company won't do auto debit. I do have some of my payments coming out automatically but not all of them

I also have started to get some of my bills online. No more paper! In Canada it is done through ePost which is part of Post Canada. My bank is also offering the service except that they don't have very many co.s signed up to use the service so I went with epost. I get message in my email to say I have mail at epost - log in and there you go - a copy of the bill. You can also pay it through epost although you have to use a credit card.

I can barely remember paying pills before telephone and online banking!


Avatar for mrslove2000
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Thu, 05-01-2003 - 5:55pm
I only pay online if I didn't make it to the mail box before the payment is due. It helps avoid the late fee. This week, I did snowflake to my CC so I wouldn't spend the money. I may do it more often. Who knows.

Great question!