Over a quarter of people would prioritise non-priority debts over priority debt arrears that could trigger bailiff visits or see them go to prison.
Research from the Citizens Advice Bureaux (CAB) has revealed that 28% of people would prioritise payments to credit cards, loans and overdrafts before their rent, mortgage, utility bills and Council Tax.
Of those analysed:
- 15% would stop paying their rent or mortgage before credit card repayments
- 27% would stop paying Council Tax before their credit card repayments
- 5% would stop paying their gas bill before a store card.
Since 2011 there has been a shift in the types of debt which the CAB has had to deal with the most.
While credit card debt and personal loan issues have decreased, there has been an increase in matters relating to Council Tax and rent arrears. This also goes hand in hand with an increase in bailiffs being instructed by local councils – based on research by the Money Advice Trust.
According to the CAB some people do not prioritise household bills because they are unaware of the consequences of non-payment. In other cases consumer credit creditors such as credit card companies or other lenders often ‘shout the loudest’. This makes people believe they should be repaid first.
“Falling behind on household bills can have serious consequences.”
“From getting the power cut off to bailiffs knocking at your door, to losing your home or even prison – failing to pay household bills can put people in vulnerable situations.”
Gillian Guy, Chief Executive of Citizens Advice
By not prioritising household bills the CAB warns people are placing themselves at greater risk of eviction, visits from bailiffs, being cut off from energy supplies and even prison.
Did you know that colleagues form the One Advice Group help schools and colleges locally to deliver Financial Education for Future Generations.
The One Advice Group provides a range of professional financial services, debt resolution, personal insolvency solutions and legal claims and advice.
If you’re currently worried about your finances, have unsecured debts from personal borrowing and would like to speak confidentially to an advisor who can talk to you about the benefits and considerations of a range of debt solutions and personal insolvency solutions, then please get in touch by calling 0800 048 1764. If requested, during an initial call, advisors can help you to identify your priority debts.
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