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>>

  • Good Day Atlanta

    Teaching your kids the value of money

    Teaching your kids the value of money

    Monday, September 15 2014 11:22 AM EDT2014-09-15 15:22:34 GMT
    We've all been tempted to buy that extra toy, or give those extra few dollars to our kids to buy something on impulse...but are those the best habits to pass along?
    We've all been tempted to buy that extra toy, or give those extra few dollars to our kids to buy something on impulse...but are those the best habits to pass along?
  • GA Lottery targets shadow winners

    GA Lottery targets shadow winners

    Sunday, September 14 2014 5:30 PM EDT2014-09-14 21:30:57 GMT
    The Georgia Lottery tells the Fox 5 I-Team it's launching a full-scale effort to crack down on so-called "shadow winners.
    The Georgia Lottery tells the Fox 5 I-Team it's launching a full-scale effort to crack down on so-called "shadow winners.
  • Graphic video of Forsyth Co. Courthouse shootout

    Graphic video of Forsyth Co. Courthouse shootout

    Thursday, September 11 2014 4:43 PM EDT2014-09-11 20:43:06 GMT
    FOX 5 has an extended clip of the dramatic shootout at the Forsyth County Courthouse.
    FOX 5 has an extended clip of the dramatic shootout at the Forsyth County Courthouse in June.
  • 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>>

  • Get educated with online classes

    Get educated with online classes

    Monday, September 15 2014 12:40 PM EDT2014-09-15 16:40:23 GMT
    Ever wanted to take classes but thought you didn't have the time or or you couldn't afford it? Well with more and more online options out there, you do and you can. And many of them are free.
    Ever wanted to take classes but thought you didn't have the time or or you couldn't afford it? Well with more and more online options out there, you do and you can. And many of them are free.
  • Good Day Explores The Wide World Of Gourds

    Good Day Explores The Wide World Of Gourds

    Monday, September 15 2014 11:36 AM EDT2014-09-15 15:36:21 GMT
    There's a chill of fall in the air, but that's not the only sign of the approaching change in season. Right now, pumpkin patches are opening around the region -- and whether you're planning on carving
    There's a chill of fall in the air, but that's not the only sign of the approaching change in season. Right now, pumpkin patches are opening around the region -- and whether you're planning on carving or cooking, there are dozens of varieties to choose from. Good Day Atlanta's Paul Milliken has a look from Dawsonville.
  • Good Day Atlanta

    Teaching your kids the value of money

    Teaching your kids the value of money

    Monday, September 15 2014 11:22 AM EDT2014-09-15 15:22:34 GMT
    We've all been tempted to buy that extra toy, or give those extra few dollars to our kids to buy something on impulse...but are those the best habits to pass along?
    We've all been tempted to buy that extra toy, or give those extra few dollars to our kids to buy something on impulse...but are those the best habits to pass along?
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 | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices