Up to 20 per cent of New Zealanders say they would be prepared to miss a mortgage repayment over the next 12 months, according to new research.
The latest Consumer Priorities Study by credit reporting agency Dun & Bradstreet showed that up to a quarter of New Zealanders said they would be late paying bills over the next year, with 20 per cent saying they might even skip a mortgage repayment.
In the past 12 months 21 per cent of New Zealanders were late in settling their credit card accounts, 20 per cent were late in paying their home phone bills, and 19 per cent were late in paying their mobile phone, internet and pay TV bills.
Tough economic times were cited by the majority of respondents as the reason behind their late payment, with 47 per cent saying they simply didn’t have enough money to pay on time. For others it was a case of laziness or forgetfulness – with 31 per cent saying they had just forgotten to pay their bills on time.
Different age groups had different problem areas with their financial obligations. People aged 18-34 were more likely to be late in paying their internet and pay TV bills, 35-49 year-olds were more likely to be late with their mobile and home phone bills, while older Kiwis were more likely to struggle to pay their credit card or council bills on time.
John Scott, general manager of Dun & Bradstreet New Zealand, said New Zealanders needed to realise that lagging in paying their bills would have a negative impact on their credit history.
"A late payment, or worse, recurring late payments, have disapproving effects on an individual’s credit history and can cause long term damage that takes years to amend," he said.
Mortgage lenders, banks, utility companies and other credit providers all rely on a person’s credit history when deciding if they want to do business with them.