Counting the cost of late payments

By Simon Parker

Just one small forgotten bill can negatively impact your creditworthiness. And when you’re looking to borrow money to finance a property purchase – whether it’s your first home on an investment property – your credit history is of utmost importance.


Phone bills, electricity bills and any other bills should not be scoffed at – they can really influence your ability to secure credit.

Home buyers and investors should make sure they incorporate all bills into their budgets – and more importantly, make sure they are paid on time.

In order to keep on top of your bills, there are several options and different systems will work for different people. The main point is that you really have to have some sort of system in place.

One option is to set up direct debit for your bills, which means you don’t need to worry about remembering when they’re due. If you do decide to go down this route remember to keep tabs on your account balance – you’ll need to ensure you have enough cash in the selected account to cover the bills.

Your other option is to set up a filing system for all of your bills and monitor them at least once a week. Make Monday night, for example, the night you check your bills. And if you need to, set up an alert in your mobile phone, diary, or inbox a couple of days before a bill is due to ensure it gets paid.

While one late bill notice is unlikely to blemish your credit file, unpaid bills will.

Furthermore, missing due dates usually comes at a cost and you may waste your precious cash forking out late fees.

Lastly, don’t forget to keep a copy of all paid bills and receipts in a filing system, so if any queries do come up, as to your payment, you can easily locate the necessary proof.

Remember, in assessing your eligibility for a home loan, mortgage lenders will be looking to determine if you’re a responsible candidate and a strong history of bills paid on time will always add weight to your candidacy.

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