If you’re like most people, you probably find yourself paying more bills than ever before. Whether you own a home or rent one, you’re paying for regular monthly expenses, and it may feel like it’s a constant battle to stay ahead of them. It can be frustrating and it’s undeniably time-consuming.
At Leaders Credit Union, we understand that part of powering your dreams is removing obstacles to achieving them. Online bill pay is something that can help you streamline your finances, save time, and potentially save money as well. Here are seven benefits of paying your bills online.
What is Online Bill Pay?
Online bill pay is a service offered to account holders by credit unions and banks. When you open an account, you’ll get access to online banking, including the ability to review your statements, transfer funds between accounts, report issues, and more. You will also have the option to pay your bills automatically.
With online bill pay, you can manage all your monthly bill payments from a single dashboard instead of setting up individual payments. At Leaders Credit Union, we provide our online bill payment service at no cost to members who have a checking account. Anybody with a Champion Free and a Champion Rewards checking account can apply for access to online bill pay.
How Does Online Bill Pay Work?
At Leaders Credit Union, online bill pay is a free service to all members who have a checking account. To sign up, you’ll need to provide some basic information and once you have done so, you can use it to manage your bills, paying them directly from your checking account.
For each bill you want to pay, you will need to add the payee to your account. For example, you might add your utility companies, your credit card company, your cell phone provider, and your car insurance company. You’ll need to provide relevant information for each payee, including your account number. In most cases, you’ll be able to choose the company you want to pay from an existing list or you can add someone new if they’re not already there.
You’ll have the option to set up one-time or recurring payments for each payee. In most cases, the payments will be sent automatically. While it has become increasingly rare, if you need to pay someone who can’t receive an electronic payment, we will take care of the payment amount via check at no additional cost to you.
Some payees may allow you to receive an electronic version of your bill through your financial institution, making online bill pay a one-stop option to take care of your financial obligations and keep track of what you owe and what you pay.
7 Benefits of Using Online Bill Pay
Using online bill pay can benefit you in a variety of ways. Here are seven benefits of paying bills online to consider.
#1: It Keeps Your Bills Organized
With online bill pay, all your bills are in one place. You don’t need to worry about receiving a bill late or searching for an envelope that you might have misplaced. You can access every account simply by logging into your credit union or bank account.
For a lot of people, paying bills can be stressful. With online bill pay, everything is together and there’s no risk that you’ll overlook something. Your bills are easy to see and easy to pay, and in many cases, the process may be largely automated.
#2: It’s Environmentally Friendly
There’s no denying that we use too much paper in general, and setting up paperless billing is a good way to reduce your paper use and help the planet. Because online bill pay makes it possible to have electronic bills sent directly to your financial institution, you can go completely paperless with your finances.
On a related note, you’ll also be using less paper because you won’t be writing checks or purchasing envelopes–and neither will your financial institution except in the rare circumstance when one of your payees can’t accept an electronic payment. You won’t have any bills to file or shred, either.
#3: It’s Secure
Credit unions and banks have some of the most secure websites in the world. They need to because they’re safeguarding the accounts and money of their members and account holders. For example, our website is secured using 128-bit encryption that prevents anyone unauthorized from accessing members’ accounts.
The issue with setting up automatic payments on an array of websites is that by doing so, you exponentially increase your risk. Having all your bills on a secure website like ours minimizes your risks and keeps your money safe.
#4: It Decreases the Risk of Late Payments
One of the biggest issues that people have when paying bills is making a late payment that can negatively impact their credit score. The chances of missing a bill and paying late increase when you’re juggling multiple paper bills and trying to find the time to pay them.
Online bill pay, particularly if you set up auto pay for recurring payments, can help you avoid costly late payments by remitting all payments on the dates you specify. Even if you choose to do one-time payments, you can set up due date reminders, initiate a payment in just a few minutes, and send it quickly without worrying that your payment won’t get to the payee on time.
#5: It Saves Time
Anybody who’s picked up a pile of bills to pay knows how time-consuming it can be to sort through everything and make payments. You’ve got to view statements, write checks, address envelopes, and add stamps–not to mention getting to a mailbox or post office to mail them.
With online bill pay, you can set up recurring payments with a couple of clicks, something that takes far less time than writing checks. It’s also easy to review your bills with everything in one place. You may be able to save an hour or more every month simply by using online bill pay.
#6: It Saves Money
Paying bills manually can be as expensive as it is time-consuming. Depending on how many bills you have, you may end up buying stamps every month or two, something that can add up over the course of a year. You may also be paying for checks, depending on which financial institution you use.
With online bill pay, you won’t need to buy stamps. In the event you have a bill that must be paid via check, we’ll take care of that for you. Just as importantly, you’ll save money by saving your valuable time–which you can use for other things!
#7: It Can Help You Manage Your Money
One of the most insidious aspects of modern life is how easy it is to wind up paying more than you can afford because you don’t see your bills in one place. If you’re not someone who routinely looks at your overall expenses, it’s possible that you could be paying for subscriptions and services you don’t use.
With online bill pay, you can see every one of your regular expenses in one place, and that can make it easier for you to spot unnecessary expenses and save money. Conducting a regular review of your payments can be useful if you want to reduce your spending and save money to pay for emergencies or to invest in your future.
How to Set Up Bill Pay
Setting up online bill pay is easy. Here are the steps you will need to follow to get started with online bill payments through your credit union or bank:
- Follow the instructions to set up online bill pay with your financial institution.
- Gather any bills you want to include in online bill pay. Keep in mind that you will need the account numbers for each payee and, in the event you’ll be paying the bill via check, an address where your financial institution should mail the payment.
- Choose each payee from the list of available companies or, if you have a payee that’s not listed, add their information.
- Choose a date to send the payment.
- Select to send a one-time payment or a recurring payment.
- Set reminders for the due date of each bill if you want to do one-time payments or need a reminder to transfer funds between accounts.
If you have a credit card bill that you want to set up, you’ll need to decide whether you want to make the minimum required payment or pay a higher amount. For example, a plan to pay down credit card bill debt might require higher monthly payments on some credit card bills than on others. You always have the option to login and change the amount you want to pay, which is why it’s essential to set up reminders for your due dates.
Reap the Benefits of Online Bill Pay by Becoming a Leaders Credit Union Member
Paying monthly bills shouldn’t be stressful or time-consuming, and it doesn’t have to be if you use online bill pay. The seven benefits we’ve listed here illustrate what online bill pay can do for you and for your finances.
Are you ready to take advantage of online banking? You can sign up with ease with the help of our online banking quick start kit. Our step-by-step guide walks you through the sign-up process so you can start managing your money anytime, anywhere.