SmileTutor Blog Tutors Career Advice How Can I Get My Students To Pay Me On Time?

How Can I Get My Students To Pay Me On Time?

Although being a tutor has its positive impact on children, there are some challenges faced by tutors. One such challenge is getting the parents, guardians and your students to pay you within the agreed time. Each self-employed tutor will want to get paid for the work done. There are several ways you can ensure your students and their guardians make their payments on time. This will also help you address those situations when some of your students will not have paid their tuition bill.

One of the easiest of ways to ensure that you get paid within the agreed time is by asking your students and their guardians to pay in advance. When working with an individual student, you can as well ask they pay for several hours in one payment.

A tutor can also consider selling packages of between 4-5 hours to the students and eventually expand the package to include more than 5 hours. Packages will be more attractive to your students and their guardians thus the advance payment.

Make Use of A Very Simple Contract (Don’t Rely On Verbal)

Another way to ensure self-employed tutors are paid is the use of contracts. You could do with having a very simple contact drafted and in working with a business attorney you can have this done. In order to ensure your contract is less ominous and instead more friendly and very appealing to your students; you may refer to it as” terms and conditions.”

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In your terms and conditions agreement outline to your students the amount they have so far paid, the number of lessons they will get based on the amount paid and what will happen should they choose to cancel a lesson. Here you can outline the cancellation policy. Once the agreement is clear, you can have your student date and sign the document and issue them with a copy. And you retain with the original. Be sure to read the agreement signed.

It is always important to set clear expectations and guidelines, not only pertaining to payment but teaching methods and target goals with your student or his parents. Consistent alignment and clear communication will allow both parties to understand each other as well as any limitation. You can set the milestones after you assess the student’s subject level to show progress. As such, your clients will not have any strong basis to hold off any payment due to assumed negligence on your part, such as not meeting a certain score in your student’s test results.


Set Up A Cancellation Policy

As a self-employed tutor, you will also need to put a cancellation policy in place. This comes in handy should you have a student who has paid in advance and they miss or cancel a lesson. This will help you handle such a student. Since you already have the student’s money and he is aware of the cancellation policy, then it won’t be an issue. Should the student miss a lesson or leave and never show up again, you already have your payment. Besides, the student will be more committed and will take the lesson serious since they have already paid for it.

Alternatively, have a written cancellation policy to clearly allow enough leeway for the student or his parents to inform you in advance so that you can plan or work around the empty slot for other students of yours. That way, you will not face a sudden cancellation unless due to unforeseen situations.

Send Gentle Reminders Before The Next Lesson

Often times when you are dealing with an individual and have a lesson with them, then it is advisable to still meet them. Once they are in for the lesson, you may issue them a copy of the overdue invoice and remind them that they pay prior to your next scheduled lesson. Thank them for their business and proceed on with the lesson.

When the student has not paid before you meet for the next lesson, you can consider not meeting them till they pay. This can, however, be tricky if the student owes you a big sum of money since you may never get your money or you may never see them again.

Another appropriate option would be to email or call the student before your next scheduled lesson. This will be aimed at reminding them to make the due payment and ask them to prep the payment for the lesson. Every so often the pressure of having to see you will be reason enough for the student or the parents to end up paying their bill.

Prepare To Risk Damaging The Fragile Teacher-Student Relationship

At any time you pressure your students or their parents for payment, you risk damaging the delicate teacher-student relationship. You could, as a result, risk the student’s future business. But for an individual who doesn’t want to pay, then their kind of business would be hurting you instead. It is also worth noting that when your students fail to pay you, you will slowly be put out of business.

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Many times late payment or no payment from a parent might be due to working parents who forgot to prepare the payment for you. As such, it is wise to send an email or a message to have them get ready the cash and leave it with their child the next time you come to their home for tuition lessons.


Every self-employed tutor wants to get paid for their services. An easier way to start with is asking the students to pay for the lesson in advance. You can also offer packages, which are more appealing thus ensuring you are paid. You should draw up a simple terms and conditions document. This will act as a contract and will outline the amount paid, the number of lessons depending on the amount paid and a cancellation policy. Sending gentle reminders for payment via email and even calling before the next scheduled lesson can be appropriate and appreciated by the parents.

As a tutor, you are not alone in your journey. We have more articles to help you to become successful:

How Tutors Should Take Advantage Of Slow Tutoring Seasons
10 Practical Ways to Find Tuition Jobs

Rum Tan

Rum Tan is the founder of SmileTutor and he believes that every child deserves a smile. Motivated by this belief and passion, he works hard day & night with his team to maintain the most trustworthy source of home tutors in Singapore. In his free time, he writes articles hoping to educate, enlighten, and empower parents, students, and tutors. You may try out his free home tutoring services via or by calling 6266 4475 directly today.