January 12, 2015

Medical Debt Harms Credit Reports

"In May 2014, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB)  released a research report that found consumers’ credit scores may be overly penalized for medical debt that goes into collections and shows up on their credit report. According to that study, credit scoring models may underestimate the creditworthiness of consumers who owe medical debt in collections. The scoring models also may not be crediting consumers who repay medical debt that has gone to collections."
The CFPB  offers consumer tips on how to deal with medical debt, both before it gets on a credit report and after. "Consumers should ask for an itemized bill and review each item on the bill to see if it is for a service that they received. Consumers should act quickly to resolve or dispute the medical bills that they receive. If consumers need to dispute a bill, they should send a written notice and include a copy of all relevant documents, such as records from doctors’ offices or credit card statements."

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