Are you aware that nearly 1-in-5 households in the United States are burdened with overdue medical debt? It’s a staggering statistic that affects millions of families, and we believe it’s time to take action and empower ourselves against this financial challenge.
We understand the frustration of being contacted by debt collectors about medical bills more than any other type of debt. Not only does it create stress, but it can also result in negative information appearing on your credit records. But here’s the good news: there are steps you can take to protect your credit and regain control of your financial well-being.
Congress and federal agencies have responded to this medical debt crisis by passing the No Surprises Act, designed to shield Americans from unexpected medical bills, especially those arising from emergency services provided by out-of-network providers. Additionally, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has taken a stand, ensuring that debt collectors and credit reporting companies cannot collect, furnish, or report any invalid medical debt.
But that’s not all! The three major credit reporting companies – Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion – have made significant changes to support individuals like you. They have removed all paid medical debts from consumer credit reports, as well as debts that are less than a year old. Furthermore, they have taken steps to eliminate medical collections under $500. This means that a significant portion of those with medical debt on their reports will have it wiped clean from their credit history.
Now, it’s time for you to take control of your situation. Here’s what you can do:
1. Check your credit report: Take advantage of the recent changes made by the credit reporting companies. You can now access your credit reports for free once a week through AnnualCreditReport.com. Look for any outstanding medical bills and ensure that medical collections under $500, paid medical collections, or collections less than a year old no longer appear. Don’t forget to review your report for any other inaccuracies.
2. Dispute and correct: If you find any medical collections under $500, paid medical collections, collections less than a year old, or errors on your report, you have the right to dispute that information with the credit reporting company. Don’t let incorrect information drag down your credit score!
3. Take advantage of extended time: The credit reporting companies have extended the time you have to dispute, negotiate, or pay off outstanding bills before they can be reported. This means you have more time to find solutions and protect your credit.
Remember, if you’re struggling to pay your medical bills, you may qualify for financial assistance programs, often referred to as “charity care.” Explore these options to alleviate the burden and regain control of your finances.
Don’t let medical debt hold you back from achieving your financial goals. Take charge of your credit and ensure that your access to employment and housing remains unaffected.
If you have any questions or need further guidance, feel free to reach out to us. We’re here to support you every step of the way.
Take control today and pave the way for a brighter financial future!