Liz Weston: The move to electronic documents is a no-go for some who prefer postal statements


Liz Weston, personal finance columnist

Dear Liz: I have to disagree with your suggestion to switch to electronic documents instead of US mail. People need to keep an eye out for shady players like cable and wireless companies, where it’s important to watch out for sneaky new fees or “discontinued discount rates.” The same applies to credit cards, where fraudulent charges are likely. I know I’ll open and read an invoice in the mail, while emails are far more likely to be deleted unread. It’s a personal preference, but I think it’s sound financial discipline. Also, good luck refinancing or getting a loan with electronic statements – lenders reject them.

Answer: Your last statement may have been true of some pre-pandemic lenders, but the financial industry was rapidly going digital even before the lockdowns began. After all, uploading electronic documents is much faster and more secure than relying on the post. Our most recent refinance was done entirely electronically, although we had to sign some closing documents in person with a notary sitting six feet away on our porch. But even if our lender had asked for a paper copy of an electronic document, that wouldn’t have been a problem: that’s what printers are for.


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