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Big Changes to Medical Debt and Your Credit Report

 

Consumers should be aware of any major changes to credit reporting laws to ensure their credit reports are accurate. Starting July 1 there have been a few major changes to how some types of medical debt are reflected on consumer credit reports.

Effective July 1 “paid” medical collections will no longer be reflected on credit reports from the three major credit bureaus — Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. This is welcome news to millions of consumers who have paid medical debt on their credit records, which prior to this change would stay on credit reports for 7 years. Medical debt in particular is one of the most common forms of collections consumers have on their credit records. Approximately $90 billion of medical debt appeared on consumers’ credit reports as of June of last year and the average debt is between $1,000 to $2,500.

That’s not the only change with medical debt and credit reports. Unpaid medical debt will not show up on credit reports until after a year before it goes into collections. Previously, unpaid medical debt could appear after six months. Another major change coming in 2023 is any medical debts under $500 will no longer appear on credit reports.

It’s important to check your credit report from time to time to ensure its accuracy. It’s easier than ever to do just this. Consumers can get a free copy of their credit report from each of the three major credit bureaus by visiting annualcreditreport.com. For the remainder of 2022 consumers can get check their report each week. After 2022, it will return to the typical once-a-year free report. Consumers can dispute any inaccuracies on their reports directly with the credit bureaus and can also take concerns to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, a government agency required to evaluate all consumer financial complaints. You can contact the CFPB at www.cfpb.gov.