Countrywide Home Loans has begun accepting monthly loan payments over the Internet.

Borrowers can log on to and make a mortgage payment on the same day or schedule it for another date.

Customers enter their loan number and four-digit PIN and receive a confirmation number. There is no charge for the service.

The amount is deducted directly from the borrower's checking or savings account.

"For most people, the mortgage payment is their largest and most important bill of the month," said Tom Boone, managing director of Countrywide's global mortgage services. "Mortgage Pay on the Web makes it easy for borrowers to transfer funds on the same day, rather than waiting for the mail to deliver a check. This service has already proved very popular with our computer-savvy clients."

First offered in March, the number of borrowers using the service has risen sharply in three months, the company said. Payments, from the borrower's checking or savings account, can be made during Countrywide's business hours.

Borrowers can also have payments debited automatically each month.

Countrywide, the nation's largest independent mortgage lender, has offices nationwide.

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