These days, companies are under pressure to go "green" and become more environmentally friendly. As a result, an increasing number of businesses are offering their customers a paperless option with which to receive and pay their bills.
There are obviously many positives to be found within these paperless services:
- Trees are saved
- Reduced postage costs
- Less paper documentation to organize or save/store
- Possible rewards for switching to paperless
- Payments can often be made/posted same-day
- Automated payments can be set-up
But I can tell you from my vantage point as a Chicagoland/IL/WI Mortgage Originator, there are also negatives to be found within paperless methods. For some of my mortgage clients, the choice of going "paperless" just hasn't worked well.
For some, an email or text reminder regarding payment of bills has not been enough. They NEED a paper billing to arrive in their mail.
Their paper bill serves as a concrete reminder regarding their payment date, the balance they owe, expenditures made, interest rates, and more. For many, e-billing has just made it too easy for them to forget or overlook these important things.
I've had clients report to me that paperless billing was the cause of a late payment showing on their credit report. They'd overlooked or forgotten an e-billing notice and paid a bill after a due date.
This late payment had resulted in a lower credit score when seeking their mortgage. A lower score that ended up costing them money in the form of a higher interest rate.
A few clients had missed billing errors or fraudulent charges made on their credit card accounts. They hadn't taken the time to look at their monthly e-billing or available e-statements.
Important information or notices had been missed. The penalties incurred can be quite harsh, especially if there's a timeline attached to reporting the errors and fraud in question.
The same goes for any company's request for a response regarding possible upcoming changes to your account. Should the notice of that request be missed, it can prove costly.
But beyond each of these, depending on the creditor, late-or-missed payments can have even more severe consequences. They can create roadblocks or delays for those seeking mortgage approval.
Bottomline, you need to pay your bills on time. And you need to find and stick with the method of bill payment that works for you consistently and successfully. Whether that be paper or paperless.
So do an assessment of your preferences and habits regarding billing. (Do the same regarding your use of automatic payments, mobile payments, etc.) Then make your informed, well-thought-out, preferred choice ...
Paper or Paperless billing? Which serves YOUR needs best?
I'm easily found at: