Three million people missed their credit card payments in the past year, and two million Brits missed their council tax payment. Mobile phones and electric bills were also among the most missed payments, and two percent of Brits said they failed to make their rent payment.
Twenty-two percent indicated concern about the potential effect of missing a payment on their credit scores, and another 23 percent said they did not want to think about the potential consequences. Brits between the ages of 25 and 34—or 40 percent of respondents—are the most worried, compared to 30 percent of 18- to 24-year-olds.
Additionally, 16 percent of respondents said their credit rating is bad or worse than they thought and has prevented them from accessing more credit.
“With times being so tough for most UK households and spare cash being tight it is easy to see why people may have difficulty in paying bills on time, or in some cases at all,” Kevin Mountford, the head of banking at MoneySupermarket.com, said. “However, while delaying payment on some types of bills won’t impede your credit report, being late on others can have a major impact on your financial future…A late or missed payment on a credit card bill now only shows on your credit profile but will also lead to the loss of promotional rates on the card, which can be a costly mistake.”
Mountford said missing payments could also have an effect on potential applications for future mortgages and credit cards.
“Those applying for a credit card need to prove they can make regular and stable payments and any black marks against a credit profile would hinder chances of being approved,” Mountford said.
Nearly 70 percent of Brits said bankruptcy could damage their credit profile, 63 percent said missing a payment could hurt their credit and 61 percent said a court county judgment on their credit report could affect their credit rating.
“It is important that people are clear on what could damage their credit profile to make sure they don’t get caught out simply by not knowing,” Mountford said. “Although missing one payment may not specifically alter your overall credit score, when it comes to applying for credit this one mistake could lead to you being rejected as banks look closely at repayment history and how you have managed your finances, and in the current climate, can use this against you.”