Video transcriptNew research has shown a significant proportion of people across the UK were served with a default notice during the last year (2015 to 2016)
Figures compiled by the Debt Advisory Centre highlighted the considerable number of Britons - up to 18 million - that may have seen their credit rating adversely affected by their failure to keep up with regular payments on their financial obligations.
Almost two-fifths of people across the country missed a payment of some sort in the last 12 months, with one in ten issued a default notice due to a missed or late credit card bill.
Other common reasons for these notices were shown to be missed mobile phone, loans and utilities payments.
Melanie Taylor of the Debt Advisory Centre stated that individuals who receive a default notice should view this as a `wake up call`, as they need to ensure they remain on top of their financial responsibilities or they run the risk of serious consequences.
Indeed, any genuine default notice received will stay on an individual`s credit history for up to six years and may well have a negative effect on their standing with lenders.
Facing up to one`s responsibilities was therefore shown to be of grave importance.
Ms Taylor advised that `generally, lenders will continue to add interest and charges to what you owe, so if you try to ignore your missed payments the amount you owe will actually grow.`
`If you have been sent a default notice it make sense to seek debt advice before your creditor starts legal action.`
Indeed, failure to properly handle one`s finances can result in issues like a County Court Junction being served and this can have a significant impact on a person`s ability to secure credit in future.
People therefore need to understand that a default notice on their payments is a reminder that what they are doing at present may not be working.
Taking the time to budget effectively and ensuring you are not living beyond your means is good advice for anyone wishing to brush up on financial best practice.
Overall, the research showed the group that is most likely to have missed payments in the last year was those aged from 35 to 44, with both younger and older respondents seemingly more savvy when it came to responsible money management.