I have seen a few posts recently referring to direct debits and feel this may help some guys with the complexities and responsibilities of making regular monthly payments. It worries me when I see advice to cancel direct debits without being aware of the possible consequences.
There are 3 different ways of setting up regular payments :
Standing Order This is set up by you with your bank to make a fixed payment at agreed intervals and can be cancelled at any time by you. Some financial institutions may require this in writing but can also be done by phone or by on line banking.
Direct Debit Most companies (Originators) require this method of payment where the monthly charge is variable and the Originator is authorised by you to take that amount at an agreed date each month. Authorisation is made by mandate which either you or the Originator send to your bank. The direct debit is covered by a guarantee which all originators are legally bound by. Some of the main points are :
The Originator must advise you in advance of any change in the terms or date of your payment
If your bank or the Originator make a mistake with reference to your payment, you are guaranteed a full and immediate repayment of the amount paid back into your bank/building society account. Do not accept being told that the repayment will take 10 to 14 days. In terms of a direct debit the key words are immediate and full repayment.
You can cancel a direct debit at any time either in writing to your bank or building society or again by on line banking. You cannot do this by telephone. Be aware however, if you cancel the direct debit when outstanding monies are owing, this may affect your credit rating as the Originator is bound to update your credit file and this may well have a major bearing on future loans/mortgages or contracts.
Recurring Payments These are set up by giving the Originator your Debit or Credit Card Number instead of your Sort Code and Account Number and authorise the Originator to take payment each month. Please be aware - never, ever set up a payment using this method - you cannot cancel these payments. This can only be done by the Originator and can involve lengthy and time consuming problems getting them to cancel your payments and to refund any agreed over-payments/fees.
I hope this may be of some benefit to any of our forum members.
My fist bill is/was due to be taken out on the 17 by direct debit, but i wanted to get the first payment paid as have the money ready to pay it, so it now says bill owed £0.00 until the next bill is generated on 3rd Febuary, i hope i havent made a big problem?
No you won't have a problem. A direct debit will take the amount owing on your monthly bill. As you have already settled that bill, you quite rightly have a zero statement. As I have tried to explain, if no payment is due, then nothing will be taken by direct debit. Your next bill will be due on the 3rd February and the direct debit will take on the 17th. Hope this helps