Nov 15, 2022

Tips for navigating your retirement community’s online rent payment portal

Stuart Mason

If you’re moving into a senior living or retirement community, or even if you’ve been a resident for years, it’s likely that you may come across an online payment website or portal for paying your rent each month. While online payment portals are fairly commonplace these days in residential, multi-family real estate, many senior living communities still do not offer residents the ability to pay their rent online each month. That being said, online payment portals are becoming increasingly popular in senior living communities, leading many people to ask “what are the best ways to navigate my online senior living payment portal?” If you’re new to using an online website to pay your senior living bills each month, keep these tips in mind to make sure you’re getting the most value out of your community’s online payment portal each month.

What is an online payment portal?

Before diving into how to use an online portal to pay your rent, it’s probably helpful to first define what we’re talking about. While they have different names - sometimes they’re called online payment portals, sometimes just payment websites - these websites all accomplish the same basic goal of allowing residents to pay their monthly rent online. In addition to the basic function of allowing residents to pay for their rent each month, most online payment portals also include the ability to do things like view payment history, see past bills, and change or save payment methods. In addition, many online payment portals also allow residents to set up automatic payments, where the resident is able to automatically pay their rent by having the portal draw from their chosen payment method on an agreed-upon date each month. Online payment portals are also often password protected, making sure that your payment and rental information stays safe and secure.

Using an online payment website is a quick and easy way to pay your senior living bills each month.

Using an online payment portal is a win-win for both senior living communities and their residents. For communities, online payment portals make it easier and more organized to collect and keep track of rent each month. This lets senior living and retirement communities focus on what they do best - providing amazing living spaces for older adults - and spend less time doing things like chasing down bills. For residents, online payment portals let people choose from a variety of payment methods and provide important transparency and visibility into monthly payments.  

How do I get set up a payment portal account?

While every community and every portal are different, the first step is confirming whether your senior living community even allows online payments. If they do, it is likely through a specific website that they can direct you to. Your first time using the payment portal you will either receive login information ahead of time (either from your community or the payment processor), or you’ll be prompted by the website to create an account. This will generally ask you to follow a few steps to set up the login credentials for your account, and can include questions about your email, username, or a resident ID. If your community has a payment portal, they may already have login credentials set up for you. If you’ve been given login credentials by someone else, it’s always a good habit to make sure to change the old password to something private as soon as possible.

Once you’re logged in you’ve successfully set up your payment portal account. Afterwards, become familiar with the payment portal to understand what services are accessible. Set up your payment information, including any preferences that you may want to add. On our payment portal, for example, you can give access to additional family members, set up payments on any preferred day of the month, toggle autopay settings, and much more. 

Make sure to ask staff members at your community about all available technology options, such as programs for managing care or appointments, in addition to any online payment options.

After set-up, save your information somewhere safe so you can easily return to your payment portal in the future. Now you can pay your rent and see past payments with ease. If your community does not have a payment portal, ask them about implementing Sunbound Pay! Sunbound Pay can be up and running at your community in a matter of weeks. 

What are the different buttons in my payment portal for?

Every payment portal is different, but here are some general guidelines that should give you a better idea of every element within a payment portal. 

Current Balance - Generally every portal will be centered around something showing how much money you owe each month. Click on your balance to view a breakdown of your monthly expenses. Sometimes this is the same page on which you can pay your balance, but other portals may have a different “pay balance” tab. 

Pay Balance - If you can’t pay your balance from the “balance” tab, you’ll likely be able to pay it here. Many payment portals will allow you to select whether you want to pay your entire monthly balance or just a fraction of it. In addition, many payment portals allow you to set up automatic payment, meaning that the portal will automatically charge your default payment method at some agreed upon future point. This means you can set it and forget it when it comes to monthly rent payments. 

Account Information - This tab may include information such as your username, email and other contact information, and payment information. You should be able to edit or change this information as you please. This will be the information that the payment portal will use to identify your account, and communicate with you should you have any issues or questions.

Payment Methods - Some payment portals will allow you to add multiple payment methods in addition to the main default payment you use to make a payment each month. Generally when a payment portal allows you to add multiple payment methods, one will be chosen as the default payment which will be the one used when you make one time or automatic future payments. In addition, many payment portals will also allow you to have extra payment methods saved should you want to use a different payment method in the future.

Payment History - Your payment history will show you two main pieces of information: (1) the amount that your community has charged you each month, and (2) the amount that you have paid your community each month. This information should be the same as the information found in the paper statements you can opt to receive from your community each month.

To learn more about how Sunbound can help make senior living more affordable for you or your loved one, send us an email at info@sunboundhomes.com or check out our FAQ page to learn more. Sunbound is the best way to pay for senior living and is on a mission to make senior living affordable for everyone.

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