Rate rises pile on the pressure as household bills go unpaid

  • More than 7.4 million household bill payments missed, MoneyExpert.com research shows

More than 7.4 million household bill payments have been missed in the past six months as Bank of England rate rises hit home, new MoneyExpert.com research* shows.

Around 1.23 million regular bill payments ranging from gas and electricity to mobile phones and council tax have been missed each month as household finances come under strain from rising interest rates.

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And the independent financial comparison website is urging people who are feeling the financial pressure to take action now or risk potential damage to their credit rating. It will be monitoring the number of missed bills on a six-monthly basis.

MoneyExpert.com research shows council tax bills are most likely to be missed with around 1.85 million going unpaid or being paid late in the past six months. However other bills for gas, electricity, rent, telephones and mobiles have also been missed adding to the total of 7.4 million not paid on time in six months.

Sean Gardner, Chief Executive of MoneyExpert.com, said: "It is clear that many of us are under financial pressure. The Bank of England has increased interest rates twice this year with the threat of a third rise during the summer.

"It was inevitable that once interest rates started rising that something had to give and it is worrying to find that people are missing basic household bills.

"Missing bills can lead to serious consequences from losing the service to being taken to court. We’d urge anyone who is struggling financially to take advice on how to cut their monthly expenditure. There are ways to reorganise your finances but missing bills and hoping for the best is not a strategy."

Around three per cent of people have missed gas or electricity despite recent price cuts by power suppliers and around 154,300 mobile phone bills are going unpaid per month.

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* YouGov interviewed 2,331 GB adults (18+) between 31st May and June 4 2007

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