Just a word of advice on using your Bank's bill pay service.
I just found out that my BoA Bill Pay made a late payment for me to CapOne in Oct 08.
My bill was due Oct 3 and the Bill Pay was set to pay it Oct 1. But, payment did not get to and post CapOne until Oct 4, one day late. Mind you, my bill pay was set for the bill to be paid/credited for the 1st.
While this did not affect my FICO or CR, it is affecting my interal CapOne credit and was the reason for a CLI decline.
I always PIF early when I use the card, but this particular month had no use....but my $19 AF hit.
So, make sure your Bill Pay, if you use it, pays it far in advance, like more than a week.
For me, I called CapOne and requested to enroll in auto draft pay for minimum due (so that I am never late).
Cap One does not have an online/web enrollment process. You have to call in, they send a letter with auto draft authorization that you have to complete and mail in which will not become effective for 6 to 8 weeks.
Had this happen to me; here is my result.
1: BofA withdraws the payment from your checking on the date you ask for it to be paid on.
---Proof. I sent a mortgage payment for a commercial property that is financed by the owner. The owner was out of town and deposited it 4 business days after the due date / requested arrival date. BofA took the funds out of my checking before the owner even opened the mail. I now send checks to my parents who live there to deposit it when I ask them to.
2: BofA paid my Cap1 late. Their excuse was Cap1 payment site or something like that was down. My impression of their response is this is where they transfer the list of all the accounts / amounts that they are electronically sending them. Since the site was down, they didn't send the electronic transfer either. Cap1 refused to credit back the late charge because they say the electronic transfer happened late. BofA deposited the amount of the late charge into my account. The due date I used was 3 days prior to the due date. I now have that set to 10 days in advance. I wouldnt be surprises if BofA was actually at fault and it was their payment center that was down.
Hope this helps you all.
Although it's logical to assume that a payment from one bank to another will always be electronic, this isn't necessarily true. I've noticed, for example, that ING Direct sometimes cuts a paper check when I use my Electric Orange account to pay a credit card. (ING's web site shows if the payment was made electronically or via paper check.) But when I use my HSBC Online Payment Account to pay the same credit card, the payment is made electronically.
For the most part, I prefer to set up the payment on the CCC's web site so that the funds are "pulled" from my bank account. Chase & Citibank also allow you to opt for automatic payments on due date. All you have to do is make sure that you have sufficient funds in the bank account that you've designated for this purpose. I use an account in which I always maintain a substantial balance.
I think there are federal laws that regulate when EFT/ACH transactions may be posted on both ends. If there is an error, it is most likely an error in posting by the payee -- unless there was an error on the transfer, e.g., the account number reference was wrong.
If the bank has to cut a paper check, I would definitely pay 5-10 business days ahead.