FICO in 2008 announced some changes to the way your credit scores are affected. If the amount owed is less than $100 any collection on that debt will no longer affect your FICO scores. This means that companies can no longer hold your credit score over your head. For example: I changed Internet providers a few months ago and got this letter "after paying the bill in full over the phone" from BrightHouse Networks:
When I first received the $1 bill I decided it could wait. I thought whatever a $1! - I'll get around to paying it eventually. But, it gets even better... The next month they added a $20 late fee, then you guessed it - Soon after followed the letter from a collection agency!