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8m Brits miss credit payments in 2010

Your Money
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Your Money

More than eight million Britons missed paying regular monthly bills last year, putting their credit profile at risk, according to moneysupermarket.com.

Research by the comparison website found that one in six (17%) adults failed to pay at least one bill over the last year and it warned this could make it harder for them to access credit in the future. It discovered that credit card repayments were the UK’s most avoided bill.

Kevin Mountford, head of banking at moneysupermarket.com, said: “Avoiding to pay 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-off effect when applying for a card, mortgage or securing any kind of credit.”

Other bills neglected by consumers last year included council tax, electricity and mobile phone bills, with one in five people failing to pay at least one of these over the past 12 months.

Mountford added: “Although many people know about the importance of repaying credit cards or loans, many don’t realise that their mobile phone contract will also show up, so it is important to keep up with these repayments.

“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.”

He added that Britons could help resolve their credit issues by switching to cheaper products and services, and doing more effective budgeting to help free up cash.