Transferring Bills to Yourself: Tips and Tactics

May 18, 2020

Transferring bills If you just graduated college and you or your roommate is moving out of your shared apartment, you may be wondering how to seamlessly transfer bills like utilities, rent, and cellphone into your name. Or, you may be wondering how to set up utilities to get yourself started in your new apartment. Either way, we’ve got you covered with some tips below!

How to Transfer Existing Utilities Into Your Name

If you’re moving and your new landlord includes utilities in your rent, you will not have to worry about anything other than closing out your previous utility account(s).

But, if your roommate is the one moving out and you need to transfer the utilities to your name, contact the provider and request a bill transfer at least two weeks before the moving date to ensure you don’t run into billing issues like paperwork mishaps or legal complications. It’s important to do this as soon as you can, because the person named on the original bill is liable for all payments until the transfer is complete.

To do this, you can call the provider, go to their local office, or go on their website. Have your ID—driver’s license or birth certificate—and billing address (usually printed on a piece of mail) ready for the company; they may also request documents related to your employment status and credit history. You should also be prepared to potentially put down a deposit if you don’t have a payment history with the company.

Once you’ve been approved to put the utilities in your name, you’ll schedule the transfer date. You should schedule the transfer for before the moving date so you don’t have a lapse in service, and you should call the company ahead of time to ensure everything has been transferred successfully.

How to Set Up New Utilities

If you’re moving to a new apartment and the utilities in your old apartment were in your roommate’s name, you’ll need to set up new utilities in your name. When selecting your provider, compare all of the options available to you in your area. During your search, be mindful of which companies will charge a flat rate and which will charge based on your usage, as this can make a difference when it comes to billing.

Similar to transferring bills, be sure to have all of your personal documents ready when you call or take a trip to the company’s local office to speak with a representative. Once you’re done setting up your utility service, you’ll select your package if the provider offers a variety, and you’ll potentially need to put down a deposit before your service begins if you don’t have a payment history with the company.

Lastly, when scheduling your utility start date, be sure to choose a date that’s earlier than your move-in date should you need to troubleshoot. You should also create an online billing account so you can keep tabs on your payment and usage whenever you need to.

Transferring Rent to Your Name

If you’re staying in the same apartment but your roommate(s) is moving out, you’ll need to transfer the rent to your name just as you would with utilities.

Before you can do this, you’ll need to get the landlord’s permission by giving them a written notice at least 30 days prior to when you plan to transfer the bill. Most landlords require this long lead time because they may have you fill out an application and share your credit report along with any other documents that will help them decide if you qualify.

If you qualify for the apartment, you and your previous roommate(s) will then have to fill out a consent to assignment of lease form, which is a legal form that documents the transfer of the lease. Once all three parties have signed and dated the form, the transfer is complete and the lease is all yours! Be sure to collect the keys from your roommate(s) so when it comes time for you to move out, you can give all of the original sets back to the landlord and avoid any unnecessary charges.

Switching to Your Own Cellphone Plan

You’re probably on your parents’ plan, and that’s okay — family plans are designed to save customers money depending on how many people are on the line. If you want to switch to your own plan, that can mean a price increase for your parents, but it offers you the opportunity to find a more affordable service that fits your specific needs.

If you’re trying to decide which provider you want to switch to, consider a provider that offers a pay-as-you-go plan, or a provider that routes calls and texts over the wireless network instead of the cellular service (such as AT&T or T-Mobile), as this will yield the most savings.

Once you’ve chosen your new provider, it’s time to start the transfer process. Most carriers will let you transfer online or through their app. In order to transfer, you’ll need to have an active wireless number for at least 30 days, and you’ll need to give them your full name and email address so they can send you an email link to complete the transfer. You can also call the provider to see if they can assist you personally for a streamlined experience.

Moving out and taking full responsibility for your bills can feel like a major milestone, but it’s not as intimidating as it may seem right now! With a few phone calls and signed documents, you’ll be one step closer to full independence, both personally and financially.

Erin Ellis

Erin Ellis
Accredited Financial Counselor ®
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