A new study has found that one in six people in the UK have missed a payment for a bill in the last 12 months. The most commonly missed payment was a credit card, followed by council tax - both of which can have a devastating effect on your credit record.
So just what do these missed bills mean for you?
Missed billsThe research, by MoneySupermarket.com, found that three million people had missed a credit card bill in the last year, while 1.9 million people missed a council tax payment. And these aren't the only bills proving a step too far. Mobile phones, personal loans, broadband, Sky and gas and electricity bills were also high up on the list of payments most missed.
Those living in Scotland and Wales were the biggest culprits for missing a bill payment, with 22% neglecting their finances, while people in the East Midlands were the least likely to miss a payment, with almost 88% not missing a payment on any major bill within the last 12 months.
ImpactKevin Mountford, Head of Banking at MoneySupermarket.com, explains that the effect can be far-reaching. In the first instance missing a credit card payment would mean a loss of the promotional rate on the card. "For example, missing your first payment on a 12 month 0% credit card deal would cost an additional £300 in interest over the 12 months if you moved on to an average credit card rate of 17.29%. Therefore, prioritising your monthly obligations and setting up a direct debit for the most vital bills is a must for those who tend to forget to pay on their deadline."
Worst bills to missSome missed bills, however, count more than others when it comes to your credit file, so it's essential that we get to grips with those that have a far-reaching effect.
Mountford explains: "Repayments on credit cards and other financial transactions such as mortgages and use of overdraft facilities are all recorded on your credit file. The majority of household bills and government related fines and payments aren't recorded, but contract mobile phone payments are, so it can be very easy to get caught out by not paying bills on certain products, especially if you are not aware of the consequences of your actions."