Too Many Young People Don’t Read Their Bills Before Paying

Source: Thinstock
Source: Thinstock

You knew you were officially an adult once a steady stream of bills started coming in the mail. Once the novelty wore off, it was just you and the bills. Now it’s time to grow up and meet your obligations. Paying your bills each month is a necessary evil. Although it’s not fun, paying on time can help you remain in good standing with your creditors.

You may delay the pain by mindlessly stacking your bills in a pile on your desk until you’re ready to deal with them. But once you do attack the bill pile, would you ever pay without reading the bill first? Surprisingly, many millennials are doing just that.

Not paying attention

A recent study by Inlet found that many millennials are not taking a close look at their bills before paying up. Roughly 32% of survey respondents admitted to this behavior. In addition, some don’t have a system for staying organized and paying their bills. This could spell trouble down the road, considering the fact that billing errors are common, potentially costing a consumer hundreds or thousands of dollars. The most common types of billing errors, specifically when it comes to medical bills, are duplicate charges, and charges for services that were never rendered.

“While past research has shown that electronic documents are more secure than paper records, consumers still need to be diligent and review their bills for incorrect charges. At the same time, companies can help their customers stay safe by keeping them informed about major account activities and also by providing secure distribution of bills to places that they trust, rather than just sending links in email form,” said Inlet.

 Additional research findings:

  •  Approximately 46% of millennials do not have a formal bill–payment system.
  • Digital rules: less than 25% of millennials pay their bills by paper check.
  • Among those who do use checks, roughly 23% write paper checks for their utility bill.

Tips for paying your bills:

Review everything

Check for duplicate charges as well as charges for services you did not receive; mistakes can and do happen. Failure to review your bills could result in you paying hundreds of dollars each year for items you didn’t have to pay for. Be vigilant when it comes to your bills.

Contact the billing department

If you see an inaccuracy, contact the billing department as soon as possible. The sooner you flag an issue, the better. When it comes to medical bills, waiting too long could cause your insurance company to refuse to cover a procedure, since they have a specific window of time during which claims are processed.

Read your explanation of benefits

Also known as an EOB, your explanation of benefits will clearly list medical visits and procedures, as well as the names of the doctors you saw. Carefully reviewing your EOB could help you identify medical identity theft in its early stages. Make sure to read everything.
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