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Topics addressed on June 27, 2007:
Medical judgments negatively impact credit history
I was told that medical judgments don't have the same impact or weight on a credit report as a poor credit card payment history or another form of bad debt. Is this true?
It is probably not true. Some lenders may give less importance to medical debts as a matter of their individual policy, but in terms of how it is shown on a credit report, a medical debt is treated the same as any other unpaid debt.
Medical debts typically only appear on a credit report when they have been sent to collections. Collection accounts are very negative because they show not only that you missed a payment, but that you did not repay the debt at all, and a debt collection organization is now trying to collect at least part of the debt.
For that reason, a medical collection account, just as any other collection account, will likely have a very significant, negative impact on credit scores, and therefore, on lending decisions.
Thanks for asking.
- The "Ask Experian" team