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Bills Go Unpaid By One In Six UK People

by Jim ONeil on February 19, 2011

in Personal Finance News

Results from a moneysupermarket.com survey revealed that in 2010, one in six residents of the UK did not pay at least one of their bills. Approximately four million people skipped a credit card payment, an action that can inflict serious damage on their credit rating. The survey showed that in all, eight million people admitted they missed regular monthly payments during 2010.

About 1.5 million of these folks missed making payments for a mobile phone, council tax, or electricity bill. At the top of the tardy list were Londoners, 11 percent of whom forgot to pay a credit card bill. Only two percent of Northern Ireland residents skipped making a credit card payment. Skipping any payments exposes the individual to late payment fees.

Missing credit card payments could also result in the loss of promotional discounts. This includes zero percent balance and purchase terms as well as low interest rates. Those who end up defaulting on a broadband or mobile phone bill could find their credit score affected. In most cases, late payment of a utility bill will not affect the credit score.

Moneysupermarket.com head of banking Kevin Mountford stated that the action of missing payments can have a serious negative impact on the credit profile. Not only can the credit score go down, the effect can be felt when trying to secure additional credit, including a new credit card or mortgage loan. Many people are not aware that failing to pay a mobile phone bill can have such negative consequences.

By law, individuals can receive copies of their credit report from Callcredit, Experian, and Equifax for £2 each. If they find themselves struggling to pay bills on time, they should switch to less expensive services and products. If even this does not work, a debt advisor should be contacted for advice. An individual voluntary arrangement or debt management plan may be the solution.

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