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How long will my medical bills remain on my credit report?

Dear Experian,

I paid off a $47 medical bill I didn’t know about in May 2016. I just saw it’s still on my credit report. I contacted the collection company and they said they have asked for it to be removed from my report but you guys Experian has not done so. I need that removed off my credit report please.

– MKS

Dear MKS,

When you pay off a collection, the account should be updated on your credit report to show that it has been paid in full. However, the account will not be automatically removed after being paid.

Medical Bill Collections Remain On the Report for Seven Years

Negative accounts remain on your credit report for seven years from the date they originally became delinquent. They are automatically removed once the seven year period is up.

The good news is that there are some newer credit scoring models that are no longer including paid medical bill collections in the score calculations. So, even though the account won’t be removed right away, paying off your medical bills can still help your credit scores.

Disputing an Inaccurate Item

If you have paid the debt and the account has not been updated to reflect “paid” on your credit report, you should contact Experian to dispute the information. You can do this either online at experian.com/dispute, by phone, or by mail. Learn more about the process at How to Dispute Credit Report Information.

If the debt was due to a billing error and the collection agency has agreed to remove it entirely as a result of that error, you should let us know that when you dispute the item.

You can also contact the collection company directly to request that they send an update or request for deletion to any of the credit reporting agencies where the information currently appears.

Thanks for asking.
The “Ask Experian” team

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