Phone bill debt may seem like a small issue. However, over the course of a year, The Money Advice Trust dealt with almost 18,000 calls concerning this matter. Furthermore, financial charity My Money Steps determined that 15% of its customers each owe more than £1,000 on their phone bills.
Whether someone has picked out the cheapest phone contract or committed to long-term payments of up to £60 per month, the sums owed can quickly increase – and create financial hardship. We could help you with bills from previous phone providers.
On the average mobile phone contract, falling even a month behind will reportedly result in £40 of debt. Many people also struggle with unexpectedly high bills which list out-of-contract calls and excessive data use. In a few months, phone bill debts can quickly mount up.
One provider of mobile phone contracts will make two attempts to take payment before charging a late payment fee. There will be a £5 fee for each failed payment. Then, an additional fee of almost £8 will be added for late payment.
This adds onto the existing phone bill, but the contract could continue. Next month, you'll have to pay the missed bill from the previous month, along with the additional charges, as well as getting payments up to date. One missed bill suddenly becomes a much bigger issue.
By the time your service is suspended, you could have a bill for two or more months along with various charges and late payment fees.
If you're struggling with phone bill debt, the best thing to do is act quickly. Contact your phone contract provider and explain your situation. This won't clear the debt, but your provider should work with you to make your repayments more affordable. They may even set up a payment plan to help repay what you owe.
In some cases, you may be allowed to break the contract, usually with an associated admin fee, or to drop down to a cheaper tariff until your contract has ended.
If phone bill debt is too high, across multiple providers or just part of a bigger debt problem, then you may need to take further action. For example, a debt management plan could be most beneficial or a solution such as an IVA.
In these situations, you'll make one monthly payment, within your means, to be shared between all your creditors – phone providers included.
If you're struggling with phone bill debt, reach out to us for information. This is one expense which can get out of control quickly but we can help you tame your debt and restore control over your finances.
For a no-obligation chat about your circumstances, get in touch today. We help hundreds of people every day and could identify the best solution for you.