When times are hard money does not seem to stretch as far as it should and all too often bills can become overlooked in favour of feeding the family. Making sure your children, particularly younger children are fed and clothed should be every parents priority. However, not paying the bills can cause so many different problems which can last well into the future.
So what do you do when you cannot pay your electricity bill? The first rule is not to worry too much and the second, which is just as important, is to not bury your head in the sand.
Never think that tomorrow it will all go away because you will wake tomorrow still unable to pay your bill and face another day of needless worry. Just remember there are so many people in your position at the moment and most companies are very understanding.
There is no shame in admitting you are struggling financially, so call the company you have your electricity with and explain the problem to them. You will not be the first caller that day who has run in to difficulty with payment and you are sure not to be the last.
The quicker you make the call the quicker you can get yourself straight and it is one less thing to worry about. All the bills you receive will have a customer service telephone number on the back, you simply call them and they will direct your call to the right department. When you explain that you are having financial difficulties and want to make a payment arrangement you will be put through to the billing department. You can make arrangements to pay by instalments or instead of paying your bill quarterly you may be given the option to pay monthly instead as many people find that helps.
Ask for a Pre-Paid Meter
An alternative is to ask for a pre-paid electricity meter. That way you are paying for what you need before you use it. The electricity company can set the meter at a slightly higher rate so that you are paying a little bit extra each time you top up which will slowly pay off any existing debt. You may also find that this makes you more aware of the amount of electricity you are using and you will reduce waste. Knowing you only have £10.00 of credit to last until next pay day can help to make sure you turn off the lights when you leave a room, you unplug computer games and chargers instead of leaving them on standby and use hot water bottles instead of electric blankets to heat the bed before use on a cold winter’s night.
If you do not make that one simple call the problem will likely escalate to the point where it is harder to recover. A missed payment will show on your credit reference file which will be highlighted when you try to get credit for other things in the future such as a mortgage loan or credit card. The more missed payments on the credit file the higher risk credit companies will consider you to be.
Making a simple payment arrangement with your electricity company can ensure smooth sailing when it comes to budgeting for your bills and will alleviate the risk of credit headaches further down the road.