Almost one third of debt referred for collection is for amounts totaling less than $200, new research has found.
According to a recent report by My CRA, thousands of Australians are forgetting to pay small bills such as their phone or credit card bills.
But while the majority of the payments are under $500, My CRA’s Graham Doessel said Australians don't understand that forgetting to pay these "insignificant bills" can actually ruin their credit rating for up to four years.
"It's surprising how many people there are out there with needless defaults on their credit rating due to unpaid accounts on utilities, phone, and rates bills. It's not until people apply for credit and are flatly refused that they comprehend the real cost of leaving these bills unpaid" Mr Doessel said.
Mr Doessel says the government needs to do more to educate consumers about what their credit file is, how to check it, and how easy it is to receive default listings.
"Any bill which is more than 60 days late can be referred as a listing with credit reporting agencies. In the current market I have seen families devastated by having home loans, car loans and credit cards rejected because of late payments on $80 phone bills.”