Unpaid Medical Debt Unfairly Dinged on Credit Reports - Atlanta News, Weather, Traffic, and Sports | FOX 5

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>>

  • Mom confronts Ray McBerry over modeling request

    Mom confronts Ray McBerry over modeling request

    Monday, July 28 2014 10:31 PM EDT2014-07-29 02:31:15 GMT
    A twice-failed candidate for Georgia governor found himself face-to-face with a mother furious over what he was trying to do this month with her teenage daughter.
    A twice-failed candidate for Georgia governor found himself face-to-face with a mother furious over what he was trying to do this month with her teenage daughter.
  • Unresolved bank errors? Help is on the way

    Unresolved bank errors? Help is on the way

    Monday, July 28 2014 8:11 AM EDT2014-07-28 12:11:30 GMT
    Taking on a big bank, even over something like a minor bank error, can be maddening. You feel like no one is listening. It's like being trapped in a maze you can't get out of, but somebody is noticing how frustrating that can be.
    Taking on a big bank, even over something like a minor bank error, can be maddening. You feel like no one is listening. It's like being trapped in a maze you can't get out of, but somebody is noticing how frustrating that can be.
  • I-Team Investigation

    Former Douglas Co. D.A. office manager indicted

    Former Douglas Co. D.A. office manager indicted

    Sunday, July 27 2014 3:24 PM EDT2014-07-27 19:24:49 GMT
    There are major new developments today in the state investigation of the Douglas County District Attorney's office. Tammy Agan, the former office manager, has been indicted on 58 counts of theft and making false statements.
    There are major new developments today in the state investigation of the Douglas County District Attorney's office. Tammy Agan, the former office manager, has been indicted on 58 counts of theft and making false statements.
  • 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.

  • Good Day Atlanta

    Will they melt? Good Day tests Walmart ice cream sandwiches

    Will they melt? Good Day tests Walmart ice cream sandwiches

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 10:48 AM EDT2014-07-29 14:48:05 GMT
    A summertime treat makes headlines for its reported unusual longevity. A mom in Cincinnati, Ohio told WCPO-TV that she left her son's Walmart ice cream sandwich outside overnight- and it never fully melted!
    A summertime treat makes headlines for its reported unusual longevity. A mom in Cincinnati, Ohio told WCPO-TV that she left her son's Walmart ice cream sandwich outside overnight- and it never fully melted!
  • Citizens concerned over Fulton County road

    Citizens concerned over Fulton County road

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 10:44 AM EDT2014-07-29 14:44:05 GMT
    A local advocate group says their part of town has been neglected for years by the Georgia Department of Transportation. The group "Citizens for Better Roads in South Fulton County" says finally, improvements are coming to I-285 where they live.
    A local advocate group says their part of town has been neglected for years by the Georgia Department of Transportation. The group "Citizens for Better Roads in South Fulton County" says finally, improvements are coming to I-285 where they live.
Powered by WorldNow

1551 Briarcliff Rd., NE
Atlanta, GA 30306

Main Number: (404) 875-5555
News Tips: (404) 898-0100

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
.