Serious illness or injury can be bothersome. You need to heal and you can be overwhelmed for a while when you combine your work and family life. Can medical bills affect your credit?
Unpaid medical bills will go to your credit reports, your creditworthiness assessments may suffer for years. Here’s how unpaid medical bills affect your credit and how to deal with them.
Do medical bills affect my credit?
Unlike a bank or credit union, your doctor’s office probably doesn’t have a direct relationship with the three major credit bureaus that collect data and don’t regularly provide payment information. In most cases, credit bureaus only find out about your medical debt if they have not been paid back.
After all, your healthcare provider can transfer unpaid debts to a debt collection agency. The collector will contact you and try to convince you to pay. At this point, your unpaid bill probably appears in your credit reports as sent to the collection.
Medical bills you didn’t know about
Sometimes medical bills can be sent to a collection and ended on a credit report without knowing that you have ever owed the bill. Dealing with them can be more difficult and there is no guarantee of success. Start with the involvement of an insurance company. If the insurance company pays the invoice, it will be easier for you to remove it from the credit report. If it’s up to you to pay the bill, you have a harder time clearing your credit report.
Contact your supplier to find out why you never received a bill from them. For example, if they had the wrong address, explain the situation and ask if they would be ready to collect the invoice from the collection so that you can pay directly. Continue questioning the debt collection account with the credit bureaus to remove it from the credit report. It is likely that you will finish paying the bill and wait for the loan reporting deadline.
Ways to remove medical collections from credit reports
Collect information and check errors
The first step is to collect all information from your medical debt collection account that appears in your credit reports. If you want to find them, you should refer to these details with the original medical bill.
Ask for proof of debt
If the bailiff has contacted you regarding a medical recovery account, know that you have the right to prove the debt. The FDCPA gives consumers the right to receive the following information in writing within five days of the first notification from the debt collector:
Report dispute to credit bureaus to remove inaccurate information
After collecting information and requesting proof of debt, you can proceed to dispute with credit agencies. (Do this, of course, only if the medical account listed is actually inaccurate).
Specify the age of accurate medical bills
Debt collection agencies can sue you for debt recovery. They have a limited number of years (called limitation) to sue you. So you can still be responsible for the debt after it falls from your credit reports.
Decide if – and how – to pay
Remember: Medical recovery bills can affect your credit differently to other types of recovery bills. It is in your best interest to pay off the debt, even though credit rating models have shifted towards underlining or ignoring paid debt accounts.