Thus, transactions large and small take on greater importance amid the credit crunch because, in many ways, Big Brother isn’t merely looking over your shoulder these days. Big Brother now seems to be peeking into your laptop, using a skycam to watch where you go, accessing your Blackberry or iPhone, and placing wiretaps on your home and business phones too. OK, so maybe it’s not that bad. But you get my point.
An incredible amount of information about your finances and money patterns is being captured, analyzed, and dissected in ways you probably never imagined. I predict that in the future, this trend will greatly increase—even for small bills.
Simple, little transactions that you may regard as minor or even big bills that you are disputing can all wind up having serious ramifications for your credit rating.
That magazine subscription you ordered (even if it was just part of a sales promotion) can come back to haunt you if the $14.95 bill isn’t paid. Those music videos you’ve neglected to return (since forever) could land you on someone’s collection list. And even that hospital co-payment or medical debt that you’ve been sent a bill for yet again — for the umpteenth time after your insurer refused to pay — that too could ultimately damage your credit rating if left unattended.
So do yourself a favor—handle all your bills wisely and pay everything on time, and that includes small bills of less than $100.
“Ask The Money Coachâ€ is a syndicated column written by personal finance expert Lynnette Khalfani-Cox, co-founder of the free financial advice blog, AskTheMoneyCoach.com. Follow Lynnette on Twitter at @themoneycoach.