Direct debits can hurt the indebted

For people struggling to meet their repayments and bills, automatic direct debits can make life harder, not easier.

Some bills must be paid by direct debit, like the mortgage repayments, but others such as electricity and phone bills may be better paid manually, if the person paying the bills is sometimes short of money or struggling to make ends meet.

Consumer lawyer Katherine Lane says people may be better off paying off part of the bill, rather than risk having declined direct debits and a late or no payment recorded.

Source: The Age