March 1, 2024

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We are an independent, advertising-supported comparison service. Our goal is to help you make smarter financial decisions by providing you with interactive tools and financial calculators, publishing original and objective content, by enabling you to conduct research and compare information for free – so that you can make financial decisions with confidence.
Bankrate has partnerships with issuers including, but not limited to, American Express, Bank of America, Capital One, Chase, Citi and Discover.
The offers that appear on this site are from companies that compensate us. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site, including, for example, the order in which they may appear within the listing categories. But this compensation does not influence the information we publish, or the reviews that you see on this site. We do not include the universe of companies or financial offers that may be available to you.
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Autopay allows you to pay your bills every month through recurring transfers from your checking account. This automated process helps ensure your bills are paid regularly and on time. You can often use autopay to pay bills for things like your mortgage, utilities or a car loan.
Using autopay may be right for you if you’re tired of having to remember to pay your bills manually each month. It’s easy to set up and can help simplify your money management. Here’s what you need to know if you’re considering using this method of bill payment.
Autopay is a way of paying a bill automatically each month on an agreed-upon date. Your bank may allow you to schedule these payments through its automatic bill payment feature, or you can set up autopay directly with a vendor (such as your cable company or your gym) by authorizing them to take the payment from your checking account on a recurring basis.
As an alternative to having bill payments debited from your bank account, the payment amount can often be charged to your credit card by a vendor every month.
Automated payments from your checking account are usually processed through the Automated Clearing House (ACH). This nationwide network enables banks to transfer money electronically. With autopay, ACH moves the funds from your checking account to a vendor you’re set up to pay.
When autopay is set up with your checking account, it often works best for bills that are for the same amount each month — or those that don’t vary by much. Knowing exactly how much is going to be debited in advance can help you ensure you’ll have adequate funds in the account.
Such static payments may include:
Bills with amounts that can vary significantly each month may be best handled manually. This can give you time to ensure there are adequate funds in your account and allow you to select what date you want to send the payment, accordingly.
Such variable payments may include:
Autopay can be very useful for those who worry about forgetting payments or who procrastinate when it comes to bills. It can simplify money management for anyone who feels overwhelmed by manually paying bills each month for things like a mortgage, student loan, tuition, insurance, utilities and subscription services.
What’s more, paying your bills on time is good for your credit score. Making late payments can bring down your credit score and cause lenders to view you as high risk.
Whether autopay is right for you depends on your own money management preferences and what types of bills you’re paying.
Using autopay can ensure your bills are paid on time each month with less effort than paying them manually. However, it’s still important to log onto your bank account regularly to ensure there are enough funds to cover the bills, as well as to catch any errors or instances of fraud.
Bankrate.com is an independent, advertising-supported publisher and comparison service. Bankrate is compensated in exchange for featured placement of sponsored products and services, or your clicking on links posted on this website. This compensation may impact how, where and in what order products appear. Bankrate.com does not include all companies or all available products.
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