Missed bill payments can have consequences: Majority of Canadians have paid
bills late

- TD Canada Trust offers tips and advice to avoid missing payments -

TORONTO, July 15 /CNW/ - Have you ever forgotten to pay a bill on time, missed the due date or misplaced a bill? If you have, you are not alone. These are the top three reasons that Canadians give for why they have missed paying their bills, according to the TD Canada Trust Everyday Banking Poll. Canadians may be overlooking the implications of missed bill payments. A surprising 43% of respondents think that there is no consequence if they miss a bill payment - that they just pay the overdue amount on their next bill.

"If you routinely miss your bill payments each month, it can impact your credit rating," says Carrie Russell, Senior Vice President, TD Canada Trust. "Missing payments by more than 30 days could influence your likelihood to secure a future loan or a credit card because credit-granting companies look at past performance on bill payments as an indicator of future behaviour. It is essential to pay your bills on time. Why jeopardize your ability to access credit in the future?"

Fifty-four per cent of Canadians report that they miss bill payments, but fortunately, of those who miss payments, 73% of Canadians only miss paying their bills one to three times per year.

"Paying interest and late charges on missed bills, even a few times a year, is like throwing money away," says Russell. "One of the easiest ways to save money and protect your credit score, is to pay bills on time and online. Make sure you have the right everyday bank account - it should include features and services that help make it easy for you to pay your bills on time, keep your payments organized and avoid interest and late charges. If not, you should consider making a change."

    
    Russell recommends the following five tips to avoid late bill payments:

    1.  Have your bills sent to you electronically. It can be easier to keep
        track of than stacks of paper. And it is more environmentally-
        friendly too.
    2.  Set-up pre-authorized withdrawals from your everyday bank account for
        your utilities and other bills
    3.  Set-up an automatic transfer to pay your credit card's minimum or
        total balance each month so that you can be sure to never miss a
        payment
    4.  Avoid the hassle and cost of finding envelopes, cheques and stamps by
        paying your bills online or over the phone or at an ABM - this can
        easily save you $50 a year
    5.  Post-date your online bill payments for a few days before the due
        date to allow time for processing. Why give away your money before it
        is necessary?
    

How do Canadians pay their bills?

According to the TD Canada Trust Everyday Banking Poll, online banking is the most popular method of paying bills, particularly for Canadians under the age of 50. Seventy-five per cent of those 18-to-29 pay their bills online and 78% of those 30-to-49 pay their bills online. The second most popular form of payment is to pay by a pre-authorized payment from their chequing account (58%).

Although the majority of Canadians choose to pay their bills online, 91% of Canadians still receive their bills by mail.

20% of Canadians say they still prefer to pay bills by cheque and 11% say that payment over the phone is their preferred method. Thirty-six per cent pay their bills at a bank branch. Canadians 50 plus still prefer the older methods of paying bills with 28% paying bills by cheque and 45% paying bills at their bank branch.

When do Canadians pay?

Only 36% of Canadians say that they pay their bills as close to the due date as possible. Forty-two per cent pay their bills as they come in and 18% collect all their bills each month and pay them at the same time.

Who pays the bills?

Sixty per cent of Canadians surveyed say that they are responsible for paying the household bills. Another 19% say that they share the responsibility with their partner and 13% say that their partner pays the bills. Those 18-to-29 are most likely to say that someone else in the household pays the bills (26%), which perhaps could be a parent.

Among those married or common-law, 37% say the bills are paid mainly by the wife and 34% are paid mainly by the husband. Only 28% of couples say that they equally share the bill payments. Married and common-law women are most likely to say that they pay the bills most often (51%) and slightly fewer men say they pay the bills themselves (46%).

About the TD Canada Trust Everyday Banking Campaign

TD Canada Trust is offering an incentive for new customers who switch to TD Canada Trust. If new customers open a Select Service or Infinity Chequing Account, add its convenient banking services, and get approved for an eligible TD Canada Trust Credit Card by July 23, 2010, then TD Canada Trust will give the new customer a $250 Cash Bonus. For more information about the promotion visit www.tdcanadatrust.com or call 1-800-387-8550.

About the TD Canada Trust Everyday Banking Poll

The TD Canada Trust Everyday Banking Poll surveyed 1,002 adult Canadians between May 18-26, 2010. Results for this study were collected through Environics Research Group's national omnibus study.

About TD Bank Financial Group

The Toronto-Dominion Bank and its subsidiaries are collectively known as TD Bank Financial Group. TD Bank Financial Group is the sixth largest bank in North America by branches and serves more than 18 million customers in four key businesses operating in a number of locations in key financial centres around the globe: Canadian Personal and Commercial Banking, including TD Canada Trust and TD Insurance; Wealth Management, including TD Waterhouse and an investment in TD Ameritrade; U.S. Personal and Commercial Banking, including TD Bank, America's Most Convenient Bank; and Wholesale Banking, including TD Securities. TD Bank Financial Group also ranks among the world's leading online financial services firms, with more than 6 million online customers. TD Bank Financial Group had CDN$574 billion in assets on April 30, 2010. The Toronto-Dominion Bank trades under the symbol "TD" on the Toronto and New York Stock Exchanges.

SOURCE TD Bank Group

For further information: For further information: Karen Williams, Steve Presant, Paradigm Public Relations, 416-203-2223, kwilliams@paradigmpr.ca, spresant@paradigmpr.ca; Tashlin Hirani, TD Bank Financial Group, 416-982-3375, Tashlin.hirani@td.com


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