When was the last time you made a bill payment over the phone? Chances are you might call a service provider or utility company if you don’t feel confident you can make your payment on time or if you’re already past the due date and are trying to get caught up. Aside from these circumstances, what are some other ways you can save money by making a payment over the phone?
Save on Postage
Most bill payers know that there are certain expenses associated with mailed-in bill payments. Generally, this includes postage costs, an envelope if one is not supplied with your paper statement and ordering paper checks if you don’t already have any. The current price of a First-Class Mail Forever stamp is 60 cents, according to the U.S. Postal Service. Paying bills over the phone helps eliminate costs associated with mailed-in payments.
Opportunity To Save on Convenience Fees
Similarly, bill payers may also save on convenience fees. Some bills paid online may include a convenience fee if you make the payment using a credit or debit card. However, it is also possible to be charged a convenience fee over the phone or in a retail store depending on the provider with whom you are making the payment.
If you are uncertain whether or not you may be charged a convenience fee on the phone, ask your service provider or the company where you are making the payment about their convenience fee policy. Inquire about the best alternative payment channel that would not charge a convenience fee. In some cases, this may mean making a payment over the phone. In others, it might mean mailing in a check or making a payment in person at an authorized payment location.
Extra Utility Savings
Making a payment over the phone allows you to call the service provider or utility company’s number, answer a few quick questions to verify your account information and make a payment using your credit or debit card or reviewing the routing and bank account numbers on your paper checks. Afterward, you’ll receive a confirmation number (remember to write it down!) and you’re done.
By making a payment over the phone, bill payers have the opportunity to save a little extra on their monthly utility and Wi-Fi bills. There’s no need to turn on your computer or spend an excessive amount of time online entering passwords and passcodes to log into your account.
Speaking to a Real Person
One of the greatest advantages to making bill payments over the phone is the chance to speak to a real person.
If this is your first time making a late payment, a customer representative may be able to waive late fees or offer additional support. Customer representatives may also answer any questions you have about your billing statement or explain more about opportunities where you qualify for discounts. Remember to be polite and calm when making and taking these calls.
When in Doubt, Make Automated Payments
One of the most common pieces of financial advice is to automate expenses whenever possible. If you have recurring debts, like credit card statements, consider automating payments. This schedules your bills to be automatically paid on time every month.
Being on an automatic payment plan has several benefits. Bill payers will receive peace of mind in knowing that their payments are always on time. There’s no need to worry about late fees, due dates or figuring out when you need to mail in a physical check. It’s easy to set up automatic bill pay and it’s safe to do as most companies have proper security measures in place to protect your personal information.
Automatic pay also helps you build your credit history. With timely payments accounting for 35% of your FICO score, making on-time payments helps improve your standing with your bank and credit. If there’s ever a situation in which you worry you may not be able to access a service provider or company via phone, you may consider setting up automatic bill pay as a backup precaution.
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This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: How Paying Certain Bills by Phone Could Save You Money