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Paying Rent Online with Bill Pay, ACH, or Debit Card

The majority of landlords prefer checks, but online payment options now allow you to use debit or credit cards, ACH, or bill pay.

If my landlord accepts online payments, what options do I have to pay rent?

Debit card and ACH payments are easy ways to authorize your landlord to take the rent out of your bank account once a month. The difference between the two comes down mostly to speed. However, you can only use these payment methods if your landlord is set up to accept them. They must be using software like ClickPay, Realpage, or Yardi with offerings for landlords.

ACH payments

ACH (short for Automated Clearing House) is a way to move money between banks without using paper checks, wire transfers, credit card networks, or cash. There are no processing fees for either side. However, it requires extra verification steps, which means that it takes longer for an ACH payment to arrive than a debit or credit card payment.

Before sending an ACH payment, the network verifies your account information through a series of small deposits. After this, it will take a few days for the ACH network to verify that you have sufficient funds. If you go with ACH, make sure to set up your payment 10 days before the first of the month in order to avoid a late fee.

Debit card

A debit card payment works just like ACH in that it deducts money from your checking account. But there's one big difference: verification that you have the funds and that the bank account is actually your bank account happens immediately. This means that the money is authorized, verified, and transferred in real time and will show up in your landlord's account within two days. This can save everyone a big headache.

Can I pay online even if my landlord requires a paper check?

Yes, you can. Use a service—like the one Flip offers—that uses your bank's online "bill pay" tool to turn a credit or debit card payment into a check. The money will be debited from your account and can be sent to your landlord electronically or via a paper check.

Next steps:

You can use ACH, credit, or debit cards to pay rent if your landlord is open to it. If your landlord only accepts checks, you can use Flip to pay with a debit or credit card and we'll send them a check.

The information provided on this website does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice.

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