How to Make a One-Time Payment Online

With the expansion of information available online, service providers, retailers, creditors and vendors have recognized the value in offering an online payment option, which can offer convenience and efficiency. For many however, online payments are still intimidating due to occurrences of identity theft and the risk of inaccurate debits. If you choose to pay online, you can do it for one time only, or set up recurring automatic payments each month.

Step 1

Open Internet Explorer (or other browser like Firefox) and go to the website for the creditor you wish to pay. There may be a specific website for online payments. If so, it would be printed on your statement.

Step 2

Log in to the website by entering your username and password or creating a new login. Most sites require that you create a login with a username and password. This enables you to make payments quicker in the future, and because they ask for your email address, they will email you a receipt as soon as your payment goes through.

Step 3

Review your account. Once you log in, you will most likely be routed directly to a page that shows the amount currently due. In some cases, you may have to click a link that says "View Bill."

Step 4

Make your payment. Most account pages have a button or link that says "Pay Now" or "Make a Payment." Click this button or link to access the payment page. In general, you will be asked to enter (or confirm) your name, address, email address and amount you wish to pay.

Step 5

Choose the "one-time payment option." Either directly before or after the section where you enter your credit/debit card information is a section that has options for frequency of payment. You will be given at least two options: a one-time payment, or to enroll in autopayments, which are continuous monthly debits from your account.

Step 6

Read carefully. Sometimes you'll see an agreement clause underneath that asks you to check a box saying you agree to their terms. Oftentimes this is the agreement for the monthly autopayments. Read it carefully to make sure.

Step 7

Confirm your payment. There is usually an option that says "Confirm" or "Continue." You will be asked to review all of your information (name, contact information, payment amount, bank information). If all is correct, choose the final option (i.e. "Make a Payment" or "Confirm"). You will be provided with a confirmation or authorization number and a receipt will be emailed to you as well. You may also be able to click "Print Receipt" directly on this confirmation page.

Tip

Read each screen carefully. Although most of the information is the same for different creditors, some are displayed differently with additional information.

To avoid creating online accounts with every creditor, try services like MyCheckFree. You can create an account to make payments from and search for your creditors. It's one-stop payment management.

Things You'll Need

  • Internet access via Internet Explorer or comparable Internet browser

  • Account number for the creditor you wish to pay

  • Pen and paper

  • Credit or debit card

Warning

Keep your receipt until the payment posts to your account. This provides you with written proof if you need to dispute an incorrect charge.