When individuals utilize consumer credit, in basic terms, they obtain items and pay for them later. Utility credit is based on the same fundamental concept as consumer credit. An individual will receive necessary services now and he/she will pay for these credit services later. Utilities are one of the many types of credit services that permit an individual to pay for the labor or the resources after they have been used. Some of the most common and most important utilities include gas, water, electricity, and phone service.
Utility credit, in short, is one of the credit services that is essential to everyday life. Utility credit is a credit account, much like a credit card account. An individual will be required to pay a utility company for the services that they provide, and the lender will keep records of the borrower’s payment history. In most cases, payments will be made on a monthly basis. If an individual is unable to pay a lender for the utilized credit services, than the debtor may be refused access to important utilities. The large majority of homeowners will establish utility credit by employing these credit services.
Proper credit management is essential to maintaining a viable level of utility credit. Every utility company will maintain records of its’ borrowers credit histories. If an individual misses a monthly payment, or if he/she is late on numerous payments, this will translate into a poor credit history. If an individual does not ensure adequate credit management, he/she may experience unpleasant repercussions. For example, an individual who fails to pay his/her water bill will have their water turned off.
Likewise, if electric bills go unpaid, a debtor will have his/her lights shut off. A history of effective credit management is essential if an individual wishes to change utility companies in the future. A utility company will review an individual’s utility history in order to determine whether he/she is a high-risk investment. If a utility company feels that an applicant is financially irresponsible, or if they believe that there is a chance they will not receive timely payment, a utility company may refuse to provide services to an individual.
Poor credit management may result in the necessity to provide utility companies with a deposit when seeking a new lender. Many utility companies require new customers to provide a security deposit when enlisting the use of their services. It is possible for a utility company to only require a deposit from an individual whose utility credit history displays evidence of financial irresponsibility.
By requiring an individual to provide a deposit, the utility company will be compensated if the borrower fails to pay his/her first month’s bill. In some cases, a woman may have trouble attaining utility credit if her utilities were previously listed in her husband’s name. Credit discrimination against women is illegal and should be reported to the appropriate authorities.