If you’ve got a lot of bills to pay every month, it’s no surprise if one of these slips through the net. After all, you’ve got to remember your rent or mortgage, your utility bills, payments for your car – not to mention broadband, TV and phone bills.
But missing a bill can mean more than just a late payment charge – it can also affect your credit history. That’s why a strong budget is really important to make sure you can afford all of your bills every month. Let’s take a look at how you can do this.
Contracts and credit
When you forget to make a mobile phone contract payment or you miss another bill, this will show up on your credit history. This means that if you want to borrow money or take out credit in the future, you might find this harder because of your missed payment.
Research* carried out for us last year found that one in seven respondents admitted paying a mobile phone bill late, or even missing it entirely. This missed bill would then stay on their credit history for six years.
If you’ve done this, it could be that you simply forgot the bill. Setting up a Direct Debit could be a good idea, as it means the money will just go out of your account automatically every month – you won’t have to make any payments manually.
Another reason why you might have missed a mobile phone payment is that you just couldn’t afford it. As soon as you realise you’re not going to meet your phone contract bill, get in touch with your network provider. They can arrange a payment plan for you and this means you won’t get a late payment charge or a mark on your credit history.
Plan your budget
You can avoid missing your bills by putting together a comprehensive budget. This will let you know how much you have to spend in a month and what bills you need to cover – so you shouldn’t ever forget anything important. You can read more about making a budget plan with our definitive guide to budgeting.
A budgeting account like the thinkmoney Personal Account is another way you could stay in control of your finances. With the thinkmoney Personal Account, we’ll set aside the money needed to cover the regular bills you tell us about from any incomes you get. You can then spend what’s leftover, safe in the knowledge that your bills are covered.
The thinkmoney account has a monthly management fee of £17.50 – you can read more about this and the account here.
*OnePoll questioned a nationally representative sample of 2,000 adults aged 18 and over between 2nd May and 12th May 2014, of whom 500 were Scottish residents.