In July 2022, we saw the first phase of changes to the practices of reporting medical debt. Effective at that time, medical collection debt that had been paid by the consumer in full will no longer be included on U.S. consumer credit reports.
Prior to that time, collections would stay on file for seven years, regardless of whether or not the debt was paid. With this change, the bureaus noted that this rule removed about 70% of medical collection debt from consumer credit scores.
Another change instituted at that time was the time period before unpaid medical collection debt will appear on a consumer’s credit report. Previously six months, consumers are now given a one-year grace period before their medical debt is reported on their credit file. This gives consumers more time to address their debt before it can start to affect their credit health.
Both wins for consumers!
As changes continue to roll out by mid-2023, all medical debt less than $500 is no longer expected to appear on credit reports from the three major bureaus. The bureaus made these decisions after a review of medical debt revealed that, for most people, the debt was a result of a one-time or emergency event.
If you have unpaid medical debt, it would be a great idea to try to get it below $500 as soon as possible so that it won’t appear on your credit reports after the first half of this year.
The fact is, medical debt on a consumer’s credit report can result in reduced access to credit, increased risk of bankruptcy, avoidance of medical care, and difficulty securing employment — even if the bill itself is inaccurate or erroneous.
If you do find paid medical debt still cluttering up your credit report, THD Credit can rectify these mistakes with each of the credit bureaus separately – ensuring your credit report is accurate and represents your actual financial health. Call us at 1-800- 822-7120, and let’s get started.