What Happens If I Don't Pay My Phone Bill?

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What is Non-Payment?

  • Non-payment occurs when a monthly bill on your telephone is more than 30 days late. Lack of response is considered a failure to pay. The telephone company then has the right to demand payment and may cut off service as well. Probably they will look at your credit rating and that will dictate what action they will take.

Contact the Telephone Company

  • You can often buy time to negotiate with the phone company if you contact them directly. It will not relieve you of the responsibility to pay, but you could receive some options such as buying out a service agreement or arranging an extension.

Buying Out Your Telephone Plan

  • This may be your best option, particularly if you value your credit rating. The decision to buy out your plan will probably require you to pay for several months of coverage while ending your service immediately. However, it will not affect your credit rating and you will avoid problems if you are switching to another carrier. In fact, the short term gain of skipping the contract agreement terms and not paying a bill may very well turn out to be a very expensive cost as credit card companies, other lenders, and perhaps employers will raise lending rates and prejudice job applications that require credit scores.

Arrange an Extension

  • Pay small amounts on a repayment plan determined by you and the phone company. Interest will be charged. Your credit rating will be damaged but not as much as if you defaulted on the contract. The service on your phone may be suspended, limited, or continue depending on what you are able to negotiate.

Default on the Payment

  • Defaulting on payment will have a negative impact on your credit rating for a number of years. The long-term consequences are severe and real, so try to avoid them. Much of the decision making by other creditors will depend on your outstanding credit score. Collection agents will try to reach you, perhaps for years.

References

  • Photo Credit Study and Understand the Credit Process
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