News & Resources

Credit scores dip if utilities bills not paid off

Feb 23, 2013 Walt Wojciechowski

From time to time, consumers may experience financial troubles. Perhaps they were laid off or had to contend with unexpected expenses - whatever the reason, sometimes paying off other bills has to give. However, if utilities bills go unpaid, it can often adversely affect an individual's credit score, something a lot of people aren't aware of.

According to the Tampa Bay Times, if these accounts aren't paid off when the bills come in the mail, an individual's credit score can take a dive. The source said this occurred after waitress and single mother Megan Campbell let a few bills slide, which resulted in her credit score dropping to the 500s. Campbell was able to purchase a home with the help of a unique loan, but for those that can't qualify, there are other options.

Utilities companies, credit bureaus and individuals should be aware that the opposite is also true - a steady history of repayment on things like gas and electric accounts can help to create a positive credit score. These entities should look into Payment Reporting Builds Credit scores. A good history on these accounts is a viable alternative to a traditional score, which can take years to rebuild if it's taken a hit.