Millions of people failing to pay bills on time

Posted on February 13th, 2011 | Categories - News

Missed credit card repayments have affected millions of borrowers in the UK.

Many Britons have missed payments on credit cards and bills over the past year.

Millions of people are putting their credit rating at risk by failing to meet payments on time, according to new research.

A survey carried out by moneysupermarket.com found that one in six borrowers missed at least one bill payment last year – 4 million of them were credit card repayments.

It also found that 1.5 million people failed to pay their council tax, electricity and mobile phone bills at least once across the last 12 months.

Kevin Mountford of moneysupermarket.com said: “There is a huge section of the population seriously damaging their credit profiles by missing payments”.

He continued: “Avoiding paying a bill might not seem like a big deal, but the consequences can be far reaching for your credit rating and can have a knock-on effect when applying for a new card, mortgage or securing any kind of credit”.

Mr Mountford explained that the late repayment of most household bills does not affect credit ratings. However, he added that there are some bills that could affect a consumer’s credit record, such as broadband and mobile phone bills. The failure to keep up with some repayments could lead to a payment default and black-mark some customers when it comes to obtaining credit in the future.

Mr Mountford said: “When applying for credit, banks want proof that you are a stable, responsible customer, so if you’re the sort of person who forgets to pay on time, setting up a direct debit is an absolute must”.