They’re convenient, but if you make mistakes, those mistakes can cost you money. Before you sign up for automatic bill payments, consider these four steps to make sure you don’t pay more than you should.
1. Check with your bank to see how long it would take to make an automatic transfer from your bank account to a creditor. Most do it no later than overnight.
2. Ask your creditors how many business days they require to resolve disputed charges.
3. Find out the date each creditor mails your statements and how many business days you have to pay your bill. To receive your statements even faster, have them e-mailed to you.
4. Set up payment dates as close to the bill due date as possible. Make sure you factor in how long it takes your bank to transfer the payment.
Automatic bill payments are not something you can “set and forget.” It’s important that you review your statements each month to make sure you don’t have any erroneous or fraudulent charges.