Some of you have expressed some SafePay confusion since our site update on Jan. 8. We moved some things around and changed how a few things work – for the better! To help with the learning curve, here are answers to the most common SafePay questions we’ve received.

If you still have questions, read about SafePay in the Help Center or contact us. We’re here to help!

Q1: How has SafePay changed?

SafePay offers the same protection as before, but is now found in the work room of each job. When you’re ready to be paid, you no longer need to send any release request. Just send an invoice!

Q2: Where can I find SafePay?

SafePay is now found in the work room of each job. View the funds your employer has set aside for your work:

  1. Click on the job title in the Manage Jobs section of your dashboard.
  2. Click the SafePay tab on the left.

Q3: How do I request more funds be added to SafePay to cover my work?

Before you start work, you should make sure there are enough funds in SafePay to cover your work.

  1. Click on the job title in the Manage Jobs section of your dashboard.
  2. Click the SafePay tab on the left.
  3. Click “Request Funds”.
  4. Enter an amount ($25.00 min) and click “Request Funds”.

Q4: How do I get paid?

You no longer need to send a release request – just send an invoice! You can create an invoice by clicking “Payments” in your header and clicking the  “Create Invoice” button. (“Create Invoice” link on the SafePay page coming soon).

You can send a milestone or hourly invoice on or after the due date of the event as defined in the agreement. To send the appropriate type of invoice, mark the milestone 100% complete.

If you perform work outside of an agreement, you can send a miscellaneous invoice:


If you have an accepted agreement in place and your employer has funded SafePay, your invoice will be automatically paid using SafePay funds in 7, 14 or 28 days as defined in your agreement.

 Q5: How do I send a reminder for an invoice?

We send reminders for you weekly, starting the Monday after the due date. We will send a reminder three times. If you want to send a reminder in addition to the automatic ones, you can send a message to your employer in the work room:


Q6: Why can’t my employer use SafePay funds to pay an invoice?

If you send a miscellaneous invoice, and all SafePay funds have been secured for specific milestones or time per your agreement, your employer won’t be able to use those funds to pay.

Instead, you should send an invoice for the completed milestone or time tracked and ask your employer to delete the miscellaneous invoice. You can send a milestone or hourly invoice on or after the due date of the event as defined in your agreement.

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  1. Me

    In the past, I had a client that funded SafePay, I started work, then a few weeks later, the Safepay amount was refunded by So it seems the SafePay is not really safe. Has the part of the system been changed?

    • Anna

      Here’s how SafePay works:
      1. You accept a job.
      2. You upload an agreement for your employer’s approval.
      3. Your employer approves your agreement.
      4. Your employer adds enough SafePay funds to meet the minimum dictated in the approved agreement.
      5. You start and complete the work and send your employer an invoice.
      6. If they approve your work, they pay the invoice using the prepaid SafePay funds. If they do not pay or dispute your invoice within the agreed-upon grace period, your invoice will be automatically paid using the funds in SafePay.

      As you can see, we’ve greatly enhanced the security SafePay provides and allowed for invoice auto-pay. You can read all about the changes made to SafePay here:

      • Anon

        What’s the “Agreed-upon grace period”?

        6. If they approve your work, they pay the invoice using the prepaid SafePay funds. If they do not pay or dispute your invoice within the agreed-upon grace period, your invoice will be automatically paid using the funds in SafePay.

        • Anna

          That is the time from when a freelancer sends an invoice to an employer and when the employer agrees to pay it.

  2. Mark Whelan

    Dear Guru’s:

    SafePay seems to be the way to go.

    As a newcomer to, it would be reassuring to receive a few tips and guidance in regard to potential employers who do not secure payment via SafePay. I will keep my query list short;

    1) Most Job Matches I have received to date do not give any indication that funds are secured. I am wary of applying for a job when there does not appear to be any indication or guarantee that the employer will pay.

    2) One of your competitors gives an immediate warning that there is no payment secured after a job offer is made. Do you have a similar warning bell which I have missed somewhere on your pages?

    3) Fast-tracking good payers – Most Job Matches/Offers have no fixed or hourly prices advertised. Or there is no record of payments made to previous employees – An effective method of streamlining good payers – Is there a smart way around this? Just asking

    4) As a newcomer, I need to secure paid work as soon as reasonably possible. Once this is done, perhaps after at least 5 jobs are completed and invoiced, I would be in position to upgrade from basic. In terms of my skills I need to be on a higher level. How would you suggest going forward?

    I would not expect you to answer all questions within the next few days. I’m sure you’re loaded with work at the moment, but it would be nice to receive feedback in the sense of also feeling at home if you will.

    Have a nice day,

    • Anna

      Hi Mark,

      Welcome to Guru! And thank you for taking the time to put together these questions. To answer:
      1) The funds are not secured in SafePay until you accept a job, send an agreement to your employer, the employer accepts it, and funds SafePay according to your Minimum SafePay Balance in your agreement. The best way to vet employers is to check out their payment stats on the job posting page (You can find this under the “Posted By” heading).

      2) We do alert you in an email, and on the Status and SafePay page of the work room when the SafePay balance is below your minimum required. We also email employers a warning to expect delays in work until they fund SafePay.

      3) Interesting point. I will bring this up with our development team and see what we can do to make it easier to find jobs posted by employers with good payment stats.

      4) As far as membership, you have several choices to upgrade. I think the Professional level would be the best value for you, since it allows you to submit premium proposals to stand out. Also, you get 100 bids per year that can be rolled over, and a smaller job fee. You can compare all of your options here: (you’ll need to sign in first)

      I hope all of this helps you get started. We are glad to have you! Feel free to post any suggestions or questions you have to our Answers community and we’ll be happy to help! You can post here:

  3. Nadine

    My terms are for clients the full amount in safepay and then release them after the first drafts. I’m not sure how to write it up now. When I originally set up the safepay do I write the amount in each line or just the top line that that I describe as ‘safepay escrow deposit’?

    • Anna

      Hi Nadine, let me make sure I understand you correctly. Are you saying that you are a freelancer, and you ask your employers to fund SafePay in full for the job before you start work. Then you want them to release the funds in full to you after you submit the first drafts? If that is the case, I would suggest you create an agreement with milestones so you can invoice for each step. You can have the first milestone be: “First Drafts”. Then if your client requests revisions, you can edit your agreement and add an additional milestone for each revision needed. Let me know if this makes sense or if you still have questions!

  4. Andrew

    All this new changes are totally uncomfortable.
    I can’t find my old safe pays, i can find my old quotes, i can open prject description from the work room, i should do a ton additional actions.
    Now i and my clients recieving messages about not deposited safepays for the copleted project.

    For now has the worst UI among freelance sites, like elance, odesk and freelanecer.

    • Anna

      Hi Andrew,
      I’m sorry to hear you are having trouble getting accustomed to the changes. If you still need help, don’t hesitate to contact us at 1-888-678-0136.

  5. Partha Mitra

    Hello GURU Team,

    After the changes that you have made, the most difficulty that we are facing is regarding the new SafePay procedure. It is creating lots of confusion for us and clients as well.

    Recently my client created SafePay upon my request. After completion of that job, I didn’t found the “Release SafePay” option. Somehow I figured that I have to send “Invoice” against that SafePay. Now my client got confused.

    He messaged – “I cannot pay that invoice…I have already funded safepay. I can ask for a refund of the safepay then pay the invoice.”….. and he opted for refund of SafePay. Somehow later on he figured out that paying that invoice means releasing the SafePay and he cancelled the refund request and paid accordingly.

    My concern is that this can happen with every other clients. Specially those who are posting their jobs for the first time.

    Can you please make this part a bit more understandable and user-friendly?


    • Anna

      Hi Partha,

      I’m sorry that the changes have thrown you for a loop. You are correct – you need to send you an invoice in order for the SafePay funds to be paid to you. However we automatically send an invoice for hours worked each week. When your employer funds SafePay, they have essentially paid us. We then hold that money and pay you once they “pay” the invoice. We understand there is some confusion around this and are working on adding some additional information on the page to make it more clear.

  6. Tammy

    I am not sure why the freelancer is not getting paid. They sent me an agreement and an invoice and I paid it. I paid 1/2 of the money for a freelancer to get paid and they are telling me they don’t have the money yet. My credit card has been charged, and I have a confirmation of payment. Why is the freelancer not getting the funds? They can’t complete the rest of my job until I get them paid. I need to get my work completed tomorrow. Do I need to request a refund and have them send me another invoice? This new system is horrible! It really shouldn’t be this complicated. Plus it doesn’t make for a good working relationship.
    Thank you in advance.

    • Anna

      Hi Tammy,
      It sounds like you’re getting confused with funding SafePay vs. paying an invoice. When you fund SafePay, you have essentially paid us. We then hold onto that money and pay your freelancer once they invoice you and you “pay” it. We understand there is some confusion around this and are working on adding some additional information on the page to make it more clear.

  7. Robert

    For the past 8 years, I filled out a project plan to send an employer, a msword document- which was relatively easy to complete although I always had to copy, cut and paste the employer’s information. I recently was selected for another project and noticed that you’ve changed the project plan form as well. Or at least I think so … actually it’s a tremendous improvement in time management, as I am presuming that it is part of the employer’s package and appears to the employee quickly after accepting a project. Furthermore, you sent me an email after a period of time, stating that this particular employer has yet to approve the plan and mentioned you’d be reminding them at the same time… which is also a wonderful aspect as I no longer have to “send a reminder” myself, showing to me that guru’s staff is on the ball and concerned that my experience here is relatively seamless. Thank you for these improvements.

    As for Safepay… I haven’t seen those changes yet but I suspect I will once this particular project plan has been proved and I invoice the employer to establish the Safepay escrow to insure that funds are available to be released after my first milestone has been completed. I also applaud the new aspect that an employee can send a miscellaneous invoice, well, it’s new to me. Apparently this miscellaneous invoice can offer an employer to “tip” for a job well done, or so I imagine.

    Nonetheless, keep at it. has changed significantly and improved tremendously with each upgrade you folks think up. Thanks for your support!

    • Anna

      Thanks for the kind comment, Robert! I’m happy to hear you’re finding the new features helpful. We will continue to try and serve you better as we work on additional work room tool improvements and payment system enhancements. Here’s to your success!

  8. Nora Gutierrez

    I have a longtime, reputable client who retains my translation services on a regular basis.

    He is a busy, high-powered executive for a large Company who pays me like clockwork.

    He had me translate some material for him on Friday. I used a miscellaneous invoice to bill him this morning, and he could not pay the invoice because there was not a Safe Pay Agreement stating that I was not requiring that Safe Pay be funded.

    Am I going to have to send him an agreement of that type every time that I handle a Project for him? And then will he have to approve the Agreement to not put any money in Safe Pay?

    Those two extra steps really appear to be time-grabbing and unnecessary to me and my Employer, in terms of requiring that the Employer approve such no Safe Pay Deposit Required type of Agreement.

    It seems that the one who would need to agree to that type of arrangement would be the Freelancer–and not require the Employer to in essence have to approve the Freelancer’s decision not to require a Safe Pay deposit for sporadic, ongoing work such as the type that I handle for him.

    Please advise on the shortest, simplest way that I can simply bill him after a Project, and that he simply pays the Miscellaneous invoices that I send him.

    While I have your attention: One last question: Can miscellaneous invoice be used more than once? Or does a new one have to be drawn up for each project?

    I think that the Safe Pay changes that you have made are great–but the particular type that I have described herein needs honing.

    Nora Gutierrez
    The Spanish Translator You Seek

    • Anna

      Hi Nora,

      If I am understanding you correctly, you are looking for a way to invoice with ease, without having an agreement in place. If that is true, I believe you have two choices:
      1. Create one hourly agreement, and keep it “Ongoing”. This is assuming the jobs you do for this company are similar in nature and you can charge the same hourly rate for each. This will let your employer be set up for AutoPay so that each week, you are paid automatically from the SafePay account.
      2. Do not set up an agreement. Send miscellaneous invoices each time. Your employer can pay with SafePay funds (if there are any) or with another payment method (Cash Account, E-Check, PayPal, Credit Card, Check or Wire Transfer).

      You must create a new miscellaneous invoice each time. If you do the same kind of job on an ongoing basis, you might consider option #1 above (creating an hourly agreement that’s ongoing that will automatically invoice your employer for you each week).

      Check out this blog post as well: Changes Coming to How You Bill Employers

      Please let me know if you still have questions!

  9. Nora Gutierrez

    Hi, Anna–

    Thank you your attempt to answer my previous question. I appreciated that, but I still do not have a clear answer. Please allow me to provide you with additional details:

    Based on the options that you presented, I will opt for Option 2–which is the manner in which I handled the project that I handled for him.

    But after I sent him the Miscellaneous Invoice, the “You Need to Set Up an Agreement” alert came up on the screen and he was not able to pay the Miscellaneous Invoice I had sent him because I had not submitted an Agreement to him. I had not done so because I could not see the necessity for one based on the Option on the Miscellaneous Invoice screen for either requiring or not requiring that Safe Pay be funded for the project. I clicked on the option to not require Safe Pay Funding.

    No Safe Pay funding was required, thus there should not be a need for an Agreement?

    At the end of the day, I sent him an Agreement and then he had to approve it before the Guru system would accept his payment.

    An hourly set-up would not be the answer here, Anna, because the services that I provide for him are sporadic in nature.

    In summary, I want easy billing on my end; and he wants easy payment on his end–and if I have to create a new Miscellaneous Invoice every time I handle a Project for him, neither of us want to have to go through the SafePay agreement routine every time if I will not be able to use the same Miscellaneous Invoice over and over. Because basically he will be “approving” my decision to not require him to fund Safe Pay. Does that make sense to you? It does not make sense to me!

    Please advise. Thank you, Anna.

    Best Regards–

    Nora Gutierrez
    The Spanish Translator You Seek

    • Anna

      Nora, is it possible that your employer is trying to pay using SafePay funds? If so, this article might be helpful.

      You do not need an agreement in place for a miscellaneous invoice to be paid, as long as the employer is not trying to pay with SafePay funds.

      The next time you invoice, try creating a miscellaneous agreement and see if your employer can pay it. If not, reach back out to me and I’ll put you in touch with one of our support guys who can help you.

  10. Ivan

    I have a client we made an agreement and he made a safe pay
    I had delivered a work that he want,so now when i go in to the safe pay tab there is “Create invoice to get payed” i click on that and now go to Invoice tab there is only “Create a Miscellaneous Invoice” this is a billing outside the agreement and when i create it and send it to buyer he refused to pay it because he already made a safe pay and if he pay that invoice this is double pay for him.
    So how can i create invoice to get my money from the safe pay and make buyer pay with his money in safe pay acc?
    Can you explain me ????

    • Anna

      Hi Ivan,
      It looks like somehow you created the milestone invoice and discounted it in full (on accident). You also had created and deleted a miscellaneous invoice. We restored the miscellaneous invoice you deleted, and it should be able to be easily paid by your employer using SafePay funds. Let your employer know they can now go in to the Pay tab and pay your invoice. Sorry for the confusion!

      • Ivan

        The buyer do not want to pay that invoice, he think that will be charged twice.
        So what will be the next step how can i get my money from safe pay acc or they will stay there forever ???
        My job is done the buyer do not any remarks on my work and accepted, but the money will stay in Safe Pay acc. forever, i can not get it the buyer can not get it,he refuse to pay that invoice and that is.
        Maybe you have to made the system if there is no any disputes about the job after some time may be 7 days ( one week) the money from safe pay have to be transferred automatically it is ridicules to stay there forever.
        Anna can you tell me what can i do to get that money from that safe pay ???

  11. Jean

    I do not see when a provider submits a SafePay request when logging into the account. I have to be notified and then go digging for it in layers of menus. This appears as a quite tricky layout. I wish you will consider moving it so we get notified immediately at the top of our screens, this so that any pending payments get addressed in a timely manner. This has made me look bad once with an otherwise quite good and long track record.

  12. June Saunders

    I’ve been with Guru since 2007, and the latest “upgrade” of the payment system is the worst to date. I’ve found that many of their “improvements” are a step backward, and a waste of time, but this one takes the cake. The new, “improved” SafePay and invoicing system has caused so much frustration for me and my clients that I quote two of them just over the past month:

    “Guru has failed us.”

    “It is so time-consuming, I don’t think I want to use Guru any more.”

    When an “improvement” brings this kind of feedback from clients old and new, I would think Guru would reconsider whether perhaps they have made a mistake in trying to “improve” things.

    The reply to this will no doubt be a bright, hard, uncaring explanation of how to work the unworkable system. I rarely see Guru take any responsibilities for the ever-increasing opaqueness of their interface.

  13. vinod Nahta


    I have done with the work since last 2 month . I have fund in safe pay. I have been trying to contact with Employer. But he is not responding and i am unable to get payment release from safe pay.

    Any help

  14. Atula Siriwardane

    There should be an option to make the agreement with a .docx or .pdf document.

  15. Sheri

    I have followed your directions for how to fund Safe Pay, but—there is no Manage Job tab on my dashboard. In addition, when I go to the job workroom and click on the SafePay link on the left, I get no option to request funds.

    Is it possible for Guru to provide directions that connect with actualities? How about two links on the dashboard, one for freelancers and one for vendors. Or even a new tab with links to the same, one page description how-tos for invoicing.

    Make the directions clear, to the point, and most importantly, write directions that actually match what is available.

    This us uber frustrating.

  16. Nadia

    It happened to me that the employer added the funds to safe pay and I did the work, then released the funds, but after one day, Guru’s team found that this payments was not verified !
    so I lost the money back, and I lost the time I worked for an unpaid project

    How can I protect myself from this again! is there better way to verify the payments and employer before they even post the project, to protect us from such problems

  17. Kathleen Logan

    I am very new here. I did a job, funds were put in Safepay. Client was new as well and couldn’t figure out how to release. He told me to send an invoice, and the invoice came out as a wrong amount on his end. I get notice to refund, which I did.

    So we tried to start again by sending an invoice, and the amount won’t show. Client is trying to pay me for work already done, and can’t.

    He has tons of work to do and started a new job for me…is the same time going to happen this time, too ?

    How can my client pay me for work already done ?

  18. Warren Endino

    Hello! I never created an invoice but the employer paid me and its in the safepay. how can i get my money? Do i still need to create an invoice even if i get paid? I need the money really bad and I can understand how stupid your rules here in are.

    • Anna

      Hi Warren,
      The money is secured in SafePay. To be paid those funds, yes, you need to create an invoice that the employer will then pay using those funds.


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