When it comes to getting a bill, no news isn’t always good news. While most of us would prefer to get fewer bills, not getting one for something you do indeed owe can be costly.
It can also be very damaging to your credit. One woman, for example, sent a heartfelt plea to her credit card company after she overlooked a $17 bill after the birth of her second child. She said the resulting late payments listed on her credit reports cost her thousands of dollars on her mortgage (due to the higher interest rate she had to pay because of her lower credit scores.) She’s not exaggerating: the average lifetime cost of debt for a typical person with excellent credit versus someone with bad credit can easily run into six figures.)