By now, you’re probably aware that not paying your bills on time could put you at risk for late fees. You’re probably less aware, however, that forgetting to pay your bill on time could mean that a notice was sent to a collections agency. When a debt is in collections, the biller will hire a third-party company or use its own division to retrieve funds that are past due.

A recent study from economic research firm The Urban Institute found that one in three consumers have debts in collections. This comes out to about 77 million people and about $72,254 in debt per household. While the average debt and number of people with debts in collections may seem like a lot, Greg McBride, chief financial analyst at, said the figures from Urban Institute need to be looked at more closely to be understood.

“Somebody with $400,000 in mortgage debt and no other debts could be in much better financial shape than the person with no mortgage debt but $10,000 in consumer debt,” McBride told USA Today. McBride said these statistics are still troubling, but some people who have debts in collections may not owe that much.

The study showed that these amounts ranged from $25 to more than $125,000. Ten percent of the collections were for debts of less than $125—an amount that could be easily paid if you remember to pay it on time.

Remembering to pay bills on time and avoiding collections can be easy with Evolve Money. We now give you the ability to schedule bill payments in advance so you’ll never forget a payment again.  Of course, if you ever need to pay a bill last-minute, express, same-payments are just $1.50. Your life may be getting busier every day, but Evolve Money can help you keep up.

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