Courtesy of Gerri Detweiler
If you think you’re immune to damage from a collection account on your credit report because you pay your bill on time, think again. Medical bills that you don’t know about could be hurting your credit, and the odds are not in your favor. An estimated 30 million Americans were contacted by collection agencies for unpaid medical bills in 2010, according to the Commonwealth Fund.
We’ve written extensively about medical bills and the havoc they can create on your credit. You’ve responded by sharing your stories about sky-high bills, insurance processing delays and mistakes, and dealing with collection agencies who collect this type of debt on our blog and in the Credit.com Forum.
Here we pull together our best advice for dealing with these problems.
Unfortunately, some patients are under the impression that medical bills somehow don’t affect their credit, or are treated differently when their credit scores are calculated. That’s simply not true. A single collection account – even for a $15 copay – can cause your score to plummet. Just ask the Cobbs, a couple in Illinois whose plan to refinance their home was derailed when they discovered their credit scores were too low. The cause? A billing snafu resulted in them being sent to collections for several copays. Read rest of article