Unpaid Medical Debt Unfairly Dinged on Credit Reports - KMSP-TV

Unpaid Medical Debt Unfairly Dinged on Credit Reports

Posted: Updated:
ATLANTA -

The credit reporting bureaus may be heavy handed when dinging your credit over medical debt, according to a new government study. If that's you, then you have company. Let's take a look at how big of a deal unpaid medical bills are in America.

According to NerdWallet, a finance blog, last year alone 56 million Americans under 65 had trouble paying medical bills. Hardworking people who've never accumulated debt can fall into it after getting sick and watching bills pile up. Unlike credit card debt which is most likely planned, medical debt is not. When you get sick you don't get to decide how much you can afford to pay.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau recently conducted a study on how debt impacts credit scores and it found two big things: First, it shows that after medical debt is paid off, the credit reporting agencies don't bump up credit scores enough. It's over penalized. Second, it says that people with medical debt are not the same credit risk as people who have racked up credit card debt. And that should also be reflected in less of a ding to your score, but it's not.

Something called the Medical Debt Responsibility Act has been proposed for years, but goes nowhere. If it ever does, it would, in part, require that the credit bureaus remove all medical collections within 45 days of being paid off.

If you're in this jam, you are not alone. There is comfort in knowing that folks out there are thinking about how to remedy this. In the meantime, check your credit report. See if there is anything on there that you need to tend to. Don't ignore a past bill. Get on a payment plan - even if it's a little bit at a time.

  • I-Team Story ArchiveMore>>

  • FOX 5 I-Team Investigates

    Child traumatically injured in beach house elevator

    Child traumatically injured in beach house elevator

    Monday, July 21 2014 8:09 AM EDT2014-07-21 12:09:54 GMT
    Another child has been seriously injured in a residential elevator accident. This is a warning for any family renting a beach house.
    Another child has been seriously injured in a residential elevator accident. This is a warning for any family renting a beach house.
  • Governor reacts to Ethics allegations

    Governor reacts to Ethics allegations

    Friday, July 18 2014 6:40 PM EDT2014-07-18 22:40:07 GMT
    The Governor sat down with Senior Fox 5 I-Team Reporter Dale Russell for his first television interview following allegations of strong-arming by a member of his staff.
    The Governor sat down with Senior Fox 5 I-Team Reporter Dale Russell for his first television interview following allegations of strong-arming by a member of his staff.
  • I-Team: Doctor guilty of Medicaid Fraud

    I-Team: Doctor guilty of Medicaid Fraud

    Friday, July 18 2014 3:39 PM EDT2014-07-18 19:39:09 GMT
    Six years after the I-Team first raised questions about Dr. Nathaniel Johnson's medical practices, the noted OB/GYN and cosmetic surgeon pled guilty to Medicaid Fraud and aiding the unlicensed practice of medicine.
    Six years after the I-Team first raised questions about Dr. Nathaniel Johnson's medical practices, the noted OB/GYN and cosmetic surgeon pled guilty to Medicaid Fraud and aiding the unlicensed practice of medicine.
  • Contact the FOX 5 I-Team

    * denotes required fields

    We're sorry, but only one entry is allowed per person.
    Thank you for your continued interest.

    Thanks for contacting FOX 5.  To reach our newsroom by phone, please call (404) 898-0100.

  • Good Day ArchiveMore>>

  • Back to School Jamboree with Hosea Feed The Hungry

    Back to School Jamboree with Hosea Feed The Hungry

    Hosea Feed the Hungry will host their annual Back to School Jamboree on Sunday, July 13, 2014 from 10:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. at Turner Field. Children will receive a backpack filled with school supplies.

    Hosea Feed the Hungry will host their annual Back to School Jamboree on Sunday, July 13, 2014 from 10:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. at Turner Field. Children will receive a backpack filled with school supplies.

  • Explore, Learn About Nature At Elachee Nature Science Center

    Explore, Learn About Nature At Elachee Nature Science Center

    Monday, July 21 2014 9:34 AM EDT2014-07-21 13:34:54 GMT
    Summer is the perfect time to get out and explore nature. And there's no better place to do it than at one of North Georgia's most beautiful and unique environmental education centers.
    Summer is the perfect time to get out and explore nature. And there's no better place to do it than at one of North Georgia's most beautiful and unique environmental education centers.
  • Renters turned down for loans can still buy

    Renters turned down for loans can still buy

    Monday, July 21 2014 8:29 AM EDT2014-07-21 12:29:31 GMT
    It you are renting and happy, then good for you. But if you are like most Americans, you hope to one day own a home of your own. Real estate expert John Adams is here to offer three ways you can own the house you want without a traditional home loan.
    It you are renting and happy, then good for you. But if you are like most Americans, you hope to one day own a home of your own. Real estate expert John Adams is here to offer three ways you can own the house you want without a traditional home loan.
Powered by WorldNow

KMSP-TV
11358 Viking Drive
Eden Prairie, MN 55344

Phone: (952) 944-9999
Fax: (952) 942-0455

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices