Last week my wife got one of her bills in the mail, opened it up, and was immediately mad. She knew she had paid the bill on time, yet sitting there was a finance charge for a late payment.

She immediately got on the phone and called the company. After jumping through the hoops of 5 different buttons and giving out information to an electronic helper, she finally got someone on the phone. This woman told her that they had received the payment a day after it was due, and thus the finance charge. My wife said she’d sent the payment out a week ahead of time, and the woman told her that sometimes it takes 2-3 weeks before a payment reaches them. The woman then removed the finance charge as a one-time favor, due to my wife having ‘her account for 20 years and being a great customer’.

How come when we talk to these creditors and tell them that we didn’t get a bill from them we’re the ones who are doubted, yet when it’s the creditor we’re supposed to buy this line that it can take so long for them to receive a payment? I had that happen to me many years ago as well, when a payment I sent in for my cable bill 2 weeks in advance still hadn’t been posted by the time I got the next bill, with them saying they rerouted payments and it could take a month for them to get posted. Come on, we’re not idiots, and how many businesses could truthfully survive if they were getting all their payments, through our very reliable postal system by the way, 30 days late?

These stories highlight the benefits of making many of your payments for your bills online. As a matter of fact, here are 5 reasons why paying your bills online are better than the alternative.

1. Bill payments are posted at a maximum one day later than your actual payment. This is a trick that legislation might be changing at some point, but even with this little game, knowing that I posted my payment on the 15th and it will definitely show on the 16th eases the mind.

2. You can print a receipt as soon as you make your payment. They give you a receipt page you can print, and most sites will also allow you to set something up so you can get your receipt through email as well.

3. You can make multiple payments in a month to reach your monthly amount due. If you like to budget your money and payments come to you in different ways, you could set your budget up that way and go in to pay half of your owed amount one week, and half the next week. Believe it or not, you actually reduce your balance quicker that way based on how banks calculate interest.

4. You save money on postage and time on paperwork. You don’t have to write out a check, fill out an envelope, and pop a 45 cent stamp on that envelope, as well as go to the post office or find a blue bin to put your envelope in. Heck, just how much are stamps at this point?

5. Peace of mind knowing that you not only have more time to deal with your payment, but that once you get that notice online saying they’ve processed your payment, it’s done. No fuss, no mess, and no more worries and lies from your creditors. Payments are secure, and your information is safer that way. No worries that someone else will get to your letter first, and as long as you protect your computer, you’ll be just fine.

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