Do you have a question about consumer credit? You may find an immediate answer by using the search engine. If you can't find what you're looking for, please fill out the form, being as specific as possible.
Please note: The Ask Experian team cannot respond to each question individually. However, if your question is of interest to a wide audience of consumers, the Experian team will include it in a future column.
The information contained in this column if for educational purposes only and is not legal advice. You should consult your own attorney or seek specific advice from a legal professional regarding your particular situation.
Please understand that Experian policies change over time. Column responses reflect Experian policy at the time of writing. While maintained for your information, archived responses may not reflect current Experian policy.
Topics addressed on May 13, 2009:
Medical collection accounts are treated like any other collection account
My credit report is clean except for past due medical bills. I would like to know if having medical bills past due is going to prevent me from having a good credit score and good credit. I have always been told not to worry about paying any medical issues on my credit report. Is that true?
Unfortunately, it is not true.
Unpaid medical debts are treated just like any other unpaid debt. They are simply debts you owe to the hospital, doctor, health clinic, or dentist, rather than to the bank or credit card company.
The debt likely will appear on your credit report after it has been turned over to a collection agency. The status of the collection will be updated to “paid” when you no longer owe a balance.
For privacy reasons, Experian lists such collection accounts only as “medical collection” on the report it provides to lenders and other businesses. No medical information is provided.
The report you receive directly from Experian will list the name of the collection agency or medical facility reporting the debt, as well as contact information. That information is important to you so that you know who is reporting it and can contact them to resolve any payment issues.
Medical collection accounts will have a negative impact on your credit scores, just like any other collection account.
Thanks for asking.
- The "Ask Experian" team