Automatic Payment Deductions

How many checks do you write each month to pay your bills? Have you ever forgotten or missed any payments along the way? Have any of your bills or invoices ever been lost in the mail or arrived only a few days before their due date? If so, there's now an ingenious and highly efficient method available for you to stay on top of your monthly finances. In order to ensure that all your bills are paid on time, simply sign up for automatic deductions.

With the widespread incorporation of "electronic fund transfers" into everyday banking, depositing paychecks into and paying bills directly from your checking- or savings account has never been easier. Indeed, one of the more pleasant perks of owning a computer is that you can sign up for automatic deductions and electronic bill-pay to handle paying bills online and never have to be concerned about receiving (or not receiving) a paper invoice again.

Automatic deductions eliminate the need to spend time writing checks, addressing envelopes and paying for stamps (remember, the cost of everyone's transportation continues to go up these days, including the Post Office). Instead, creditors will notify you by that a payment is due by way of email containing an invoice or monthly statement, and you simply go to their website and make the payment. What could be more convenient? The only requirement on your part is to ensure that you keep your checkbook balanced and up-to-date as any electronic payments are made. Just as you would record direct deposits to your account, you must record the payment of bills or other purchases.

In addition, many credit card companies today offer incentives – such as a lower interest rate – if you sign up for automatic payment deductions. They typically also offer a 'credit card fraud' system designed to notify you of suspicious account activity or if your card has been used without your authorization. Identify theft is rampant, and it's a concern for all consumers that use credit cards, whether at brick-and-mortar stores or online. This measure can be an effective means to prevent – or, at least, slow down – the damage that can be inflicted by information thieves.

Of course, automatic payment deductions can be used for more than just credit cards bills. You can make the most of this option for mortgage and car payments, telephone bills, cable bills, insurance payments and department stores, as well. The likelihood is that if an establishment accepts any type of electronic payment method, you can probably set up an automatic payment for its bill. And even if you can't, most bill-pay services have the ability to pay anyone with a physical address, whether they accept electronic payments or not.

If you haven't yet considered using automatic deductions to pay your bills, give it a try. Sign up for it to pay one of your credit cards. You'll see for yourself how fast, efficient and convenient it can be. And, even more importantly, by using less paper (and, thus, fewer trees) you'll be contributing to the effort to keep our environment "green."

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