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People who miss bill payments risk ruining their credit score, according to a financial expert.

Research by comparison website moneysupermarket.com discovered that 13 per cent of people missed a bill payment last year, including those for utilities and credit cards.

The most likely bill to be ignored was a credit card bill, with the 25 to 34 age group most likely to forget or ignore them, while the under-24s were most inclined to miss a mobile phone payment, the website said.

Head of credit cards Steve Willey said: "It is the damage to their credit rating that is more costly to them and to the other 2.5 million consumers who have missed payments elsewhere.

"It is much better to pay that minimum monthly balance rather than not pay anything at all."

He added that a poor credit score would be around for a long time and could lead to rejections of credit in the future.

A recent study by MoneyExpert.com showed that almost seven million bills were still unpaid in the last half of 2007.

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