Negative interest rates and what it means

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February 14th, 2016 at 9:33:46 PM permalink
Pacomartin
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 761
Posts: 9020

Quote: Wizard

1. They want me to potentially fall into the late fee trap, and/or
2. They hope the check will get lost and I'll never cash it.


I don't know what the term for it is, but some people deliberately use a word in a sarcastic way to mean the opposite of it's original meaning. For example the phrase "deadbeat " as used by the Credit Card industry.

A "deadbeat" is the unflattering term sometimes used in the credit card industry to describe consumers who pay off their balances every month, using the lenders' money but paying no interest on it. The more-polite, official term is "transactor." Since the recession's end, deadbeats -- or transactors -- have been on the rise, since more consumers see the wisdom of using credit cards as a tool of convenience, not an instrument of debt.

Possibly they have a similar term in the utility payments business.
February 15th, 2016 at 12:08:03 AM permalink
Evenbob
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 111
Posts: 12458
Quote: Wizard


1. They want me to potentially fall into the late fee trap, and/or
2. They hope the check will get lost and I'll never cash it.


My utility company lets me set up an
account where my bill is charged on
my debit card every month automatically.
I'd check into that.
If you take a risk, you may lose. If you never take a risk, you will always lose.
February 15th, 2016 at 12:43:15 AM permalink
rxwine
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 123
Posts: 5671
Quote: Evenbob
My utility company lets me set up an
account where my bill is charged on
my debit card every month automatically.
I'd check into that.


I really never like this idea, though that is how my utility bill is currently paid. If there is a dispute, they potentially have you by the short hairs. You have to cancel your card. That can mess up all your other auto-payments too if you do that.

Least that's what I imagine. I just don't like the potential leverage, though, even though I use it.
No one has ever proven I am not God.
February 15th, 2016 at 2:43:05 AM permalink
beachbumbabs
Member since: Sep 3, 2013
Threads: 5
Posts: 1027
Quote: Wizard
This is a little off topic, but since my bank account pretty much pays no interest, I like to pay my utility bills months in advance. I hate to pay enormous late fees because I was out of town or just lost a bill. So, I'll pay about six months in advance when I owe anything.

What annoys me is many utilities now send me back a check for whatever I overpaid. I suspect they do this because

1. They want me to potentially fall into the late fee trap, and/or
2. They hope the check will get lost and I'll never cash it.

So, yes, I'm angry that creditors will screw their customs up the *&# with a bloom handle if they are one day late on a payment, but they won't hold your money for free.


I have all my utilities on auto-pay (like someone else above) but make them send me a physical bill (instead of email), which comes 2-3 weeks ahead of the due date. So if there's a problem, I have a chance to resolve it before it pays, including stopping the auto-pay, fixing the problem if there is one, and then re-starting it once the issue is resolved. I started this when I was working in Hawaii and renting my home (kept the utilities in my name and had my renter reimburse me), and it's worked very well for me. Before that, I found the utilities were way, way too quick to start charging late fees and threatening disconnects if I missed a bill for any reason. All FWIW.
Holding on to anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die. -ersatz Buddha
February 15th, 2016 at 2:54:53 AM permalink
odiousgambit
Member since: Oct 28, 2012
Threads: 82
Posts: 1894
My wife likes to set up automatic payments, and yes indeed it often causes problems.

As for me, I don't mind paying bills on the internet, but I want to click to OK the payment each time.

As to those other points,

Mr. Martin, I guess that makes me a deadbeat, I haven't paid credit card interest in 30+ years. The merchant pays the first month's interest, so its not like they get cheated. And I won't use a credit card that won't allow you to set the payment date just before, or on, the due date. I'm not sure you could find a credit card company now, though, that doesn't allow that.

All that might make me a Deadbeat with a capital 'D' LOL. But they can't indicate their displeasure to the credit bureaus, I have very good ratings with all of them.

Michael, there is also no point in thinking extra payments to your mortgage gets you ahead in your mortgage payments. If you pay extra, it goes to the principal [it accomplishes a paydown] but no matter how much you paid it down [short of paying it off], the same old monthly payment is due next month and they will get out the knives to make you pay it if they have to.
Mustard:You like Kipling, Miss Scarlet? Sure, I'll eat anything [from movie]
February 15th, 2016 at 5:12:21 AM permalink
AZDuffman
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 105
Posts: 7350
Quote: Wizard
This is a little off topic, but since my bank account pretty much pays no interest, I like to pay my utility bills months in advance. I hate to pay enormous late fees because I was out of town or just lost a bill. So, I'll pay about six months in advance when I owe anything.

What annoys me is many utilities now send me back a check for whatever I overpaid. I suspect they do this because

1. They want me to potentially fall into the late fee trap, and/or
2. They hope the check will get lost and I'll never cash it.


I think it is something else. My guess is they either legally or by policy have to refund large credit balances. As others said, just set up an auto-pay on your, not their, end. Never set it on their end as it can be a pain to shut off if you have a bad cash flow period. But set your account to send say $50/week to the utility. I have re-set my life to weekly payments not monthly.

I pay so much extra weekly on my mortgage that for several months last year nothing was due. At the new year they reset my payment without asking so I expect it again this year.
The man who damns money has obtained it dishonorably; the man who respects it has earned it
February 15th, 2016 at 5:59:53 AM permalink
Wizard
Administrator
Member since: Oct 23, 2012
Threads: 177
Posts: 3642
I do have auto-pay on about half of my recurring bills now. The other half either don't have that option or I had some difficulty enrolling in it.
Knowledge is Good -- Emil Faber
February 15th, 2016 at 6:03:03 AM permalink
AZDuffman
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 105
Posts: 7350
Quote: Wizard
I do have auto-pay on about half of my recurring bills now. The other half either don't have that option or I had some difficulty enrolling in it.


Check with your bank, you can probably set it up there. Will not be exact but just pay a little more most months.

Best way to go. Of course I will probably be one of those guys has it all set up just so they find me dead three years later because all the payments get taken care of so nobody misses me......
The man who damns money has obtained it dishonorably; the man who respects it has earned it
February 15th, 2016 at 8:46:48 AM permalink
odiousgambit
Member since: Oct 28, 2012
Threads: 82
Posts: 1894
Quote: AZDuffman
I pay so much extra weekly on my mortgage that for several months last year nothing was due.
as I mentioned, I wouldn't assume that nothing was due. Usually, the same amount is due every month regardless if you paid extra recently
Quote:
At the new year they reset my payment without asking so I expect it again this year.
That may be, but I would guess you don't have a standard mortgage.
Mustard:You like Kipling, Miss Scarlet? Sure, I'll eat anything [from movie]
February 15th, 2016 at 10:12:20 AM permalink
AZDuffman
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 105
Posts: 7350
Quote: odiousgambit
as I mentioned, I wouldn't assume that nothing was due. Usually, the same amount is due every month regardless if you paid extra recently That may be, but I would guess you don't have a standard mortgage.


It is a standard one. No FHA/VA or the like. It was weird, most of the year just showed extra principal payments. But then at the last few months had a "$0" in amount due. I pay about 1/3 over per month. Don't know or care why it happened, will be paid off totally in about 3 more years.
The man who damns money has obtained it dishonorably; the man who respects it has earned it
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