Paying Child Support Electronically with ExpertPay
Last week I posted about methods of paying child support in Pennsylvania. This week I want to highlight a couple of electronic methods of paying child support, which might be useful for payors who are self-employed, own a business, or must submit supplemental payments in addition to a wage attachment against their salary.
In Pennsylvania, all support payments must be submitted to the Pennsylvania State Collection and Disbursement Unit, which we call PA-SCDU or “Ski-Doo.” Payments that are sent directly to the recipient are not credited until the recipient files a Notice to Credit Direct Payment. PA-SCDU publishes an excellent handbook on electronic child support payments on their website. The booklet is written for employers but provides valuable information for anyone who wishes to submit support payments electronically.
One new option is a service called ExpertPay. ExpertPay is an on-line payment mechanism to submit court ordered support payments via electronic funds transfer from your bank account directly to PA-SCDU. Their website contains the answers to frequently asked questions:
Question: What are the initial costs for ExpertPaySM?
Answer: There is a one time registration fee of $2.50 charged to you the first time a payment is submitted. In some states, you will also be charged a transaction fee of $1.25 per remittance that will be debited from your account for each submitted payment. If you have multiple cases, each subsequent remittance with the other case information will be charged $1.25. You should also contact your bank regarding potential processing fees. Some states are offered at rates other than our standard rate.
Their website states that payments are submitted to PA-SCDU five business days after they are debited from your bank account. For this reason, I would suggest using a different method if you are close to the deadline for your payment. Remember that late payments can cause the entire arrears balance to be due in full immediately, which will be reported to credit bureaus as a delinquent obligation and affect your FICO credit score.
Another option that is recommended by PA-SCDU is e-ChildsPay.com, which can process credit card payments. Their website is somewhat vague, but claims that they can make secure credit card child support payments instantly for a fee.
Is there a fee charged for this service?
Yes. There is e-childsPay.com charges a convenience fee to use this service to make your child support payment. This fee is separate from the child support obligation you are paying. The fee will be added to your payment, regardless of the payment amount.
The fees are not described on their website. PA SCDU also accepts Visa® or MasterCard® payments by telephone by calling PA SCDU toll free at 1-800-955-2305.