You may think you don't need bill reminders, but there are smart reasons to set up alerts. Paying a bill late can have serious consequences. Creditors expect each customer to respect due dates. But if you have a lot on your plate, a due date might slip your mind. Fortunately, reminders can keep your personal finances on track. Here are seven smart reasons to set up bill reminders.
Setting up bill reminders is free and there are several ways to accomplish this. If you have online banking through your personal bank, use online bill pay to set up reminders and alerts. Also, if you pay a utility bill or a credit card payment online, you can sign up to receive alerts through the company's website. A reminder can arrive a few days before your due date, or on the due date.
To experiment, I went to two credit card sites to see how long it would take to set up bill reminders. Surprisingly, it didn't take much time. The sites were extremely user-friendly. All I did was visit my settings to turn on bill reminders, and then choose when to receive the reminders. In both cases, it took less than three or four minutes.
There are different ways to receive a bill reminder alert. I chose to receive an email since I'm on the computer throughout the day. But you can request alerts by text message - whichever is more convenient for you.
Even if you're serious about managing your personal finances, you might forget a due date if you're overwhelmed with other stuff. If you don't pay bills as soon as statements arrive, getting a bill reminder ensures you never miss another late payment.
If you can alleviate late payments, you'll also alleviate late fees. Late fees are no joke. Some credit card companies charge as much as $25-$45 per late fee. Also, late fees are charged by utility companies, bank, mortgage companies, etc. If you get into a routine of paying late fees, this can cut into your disposable income.
If you forget a due date, and a payment is more than 30 days past due, the creditor can report the delinquency to the credit bureaus. This damages your credit score. And unfortunately, a delinquency stays on your credit report for years, unless the creditor deletes the information sooner.
Some people sign up for online bill pay and have payments automatically taken from their account to avoid missing a due date. But auto-pay only works if you have cash in your checking account when a transaction is scheduled to come through. If using auto-pay, it's also useful to set up bill reminders. This way, you're reminded of an upcoming transaction, and you can make sure cash is available, or else you'll pay a bank overdraft fee.
Bill reminders are perfect if you occasionally forget due dates. You can maintain a good relationship with your utility company or credit card company, plus avoid unnecessary fees. What are other good reasons to set up bill reminders?
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