Millions are struggling to pay their bills (Picture: Getty Images/Mint Images RF)
Millions of people have missed payments on their household bills this year as the cost of living crisis continues to bite.
More than 16 million people have missed payments this year, and of those more than two million did so for the first time, according to the Money and Pensions Service (MaPS).
Their survey of more than 3,000 Brits found credit card repayments were the most common kind of bill which went unpaid, followed by utilities, council tax, and bank overdrafts or loans.
The figures found 30% of people have missed at least one payment in 2023, and of those, 14% say it was the first time they’ve ever missed a payment.
Charlotte Jackson, head of guidance at MaPS, said: ‘People are struggling this year and as these results suggest, some household budgets are becoming severely stretched.
‘One in seven people currently wouldn’t take any action if they started to struggle, and this increases their risk of becoming stuck in the trap of long-term problem debt.
‘We’re asking people struggling with payments to “do one thing” and act fast.
‘If you think you’ll miss one, speak to your creditor, and if it’s already happened, it’s not too late to consider free debt advice.
‘Acting now will help you get some control over what’s happening, find out your options and avoid the devastation that debt can cause.
‘It can be really difficult to take that first step, but it can make a massive difference.
‘If you’re unsure where to start, our free and impartial guide on starting the conversation is available now via our MoneyHelper service.’
MaPS has released the figures to coincide with Talk Money Week, and they say if you’re about to miss a payment, you should speak to your creditor as they might be able to organise a better tariff, a more flexible payment arrangement, or put you in contact with a charity that can help.
Creditors also have a responsibility to treat you fairly by offering affordable repayment options.
‘People are struggling this year and as these results suggest, some household budgets are becoming severely stretched.’