Can a Past Due Energy Bill Affect Your Credit Score?

Can a Past Due Energy Bill Affect Your Credit Score?
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If you’re habitually late on paying your energy bill, you risk more than having your service shut off. Although many utility providers don't report late payments to credit bureaus, some do. Moreover, any bill that gets sent to collection will be reported, which could affect your ability to sign up for utility services in the future.

Don't Be Too Late

Most companies don't report energy bill delinquencies to a credit bureau, so they usually won't have a negative effect on your record -- as long as those delinquencies are brief. Energy companies have the option of reporting delinquencies if bills are more than 30 days late, and should the bill be outsourced to a collection agency, that agency likely will note it on your credit report. At that point, the past-due energy bill would cause your credit score to drop.

Getting Power Turned On

When you apply for utility services, you usually have to provide personal information such as your social security number so the provider can check your credit history. A poor credit history, particularly one that shows previous utility bills unpaid in collections, can affect your ability to get services or make the utility require that you put down a deposit or get a letter of guarantee in order to become a customer.