Until recently, medical debt, even debt that has been paid off, could stay on a consumer’s credit file for years. But due to recent changes made by all three credit bureaus, the medical debt will disappear from your credit report once it has been paid in full. This is good news for American consumers who want to improve their credit.
Due to the high cost of health care, many Americans struggle to pay expensive medical bills. For some, this means sending their unpaid medical debt to collections. Once medical debt is collected, it may appear on a credit report and may serve as a negative mark.
Until recently, medical collection debt could remain on your credit report even after you paid off the debt. But that will no longer be the case. Equifax, Experian and TransUnion are changing the way medical debt is reported on US credit reports, and the changes are positive.
Paid medical collection debts will no longer appear on credit reports
Effective July 1, 2022, all medical collection debts paid in full will no longer be included in consumer credit reports in the United States. But that’s not the only positive change.
Previously, medical collection debt could show up on credit reports after six months. That time frame has now been reduced from six months to one year, giving consumers more time to settle their debt before it hits their credit report.
These changes will help consumers who have struggled with medical debt issues, and it could help some people improve their credit scores.
Expect additional changes in 2023
Consumers can expect additional changes to how medical debt collection debt is reported in the future. In the first half of 2023, all medical collection debts with a reported original balance of less than $500 will be removed from credit reports.
How many consumers will benefit? These changes will result in nearly 70% of medical recovery debt disappear from consumer credit reports.
Don’t ignore your credit report
When was the last time you reviewed your credit report? If you want to keep control of your finances, it’s a good idea to take a look.
You should regularly review your credit report to find potential errors and see what accounts are open and how much debt you have. You can use information from your credit report to make more informed choices about your money to improve your credit.
If you ever had a medical collection debt on your report and you paid it off, you can check that it no longer appears on your credit report.
Wondering how to check your credit report? It is easy to do. Until the end of 2022 you can get free weekly credit reports on AnnualCreditReport.com. Usually, consumers are entitled to a free copy of their credit report every 12 months from each credit reporting company, but they have been available weekly since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
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