New credit bureau policies on medical debt can benefit you

There are three new policy changes to medical debt recording that the major credit bureaus – Equifax, Experian and TransUnion – have pledged to uphold that can benefit consumers. Here is information on how to get your free credit report and make sure that your medical debt reporting is being handled correctly.

CHANGES:

  • Beginning July 1, 2022, paid medical debt should have been erased from credit reports. 
  • Newly accrued medical debt won’t show up on any credit reports until a year after the debt is given over to collection agencies – as opposed to the current six month timeline. 
  • Starting in 2023, credit reports will no longer include medical debts of less than $500. 

How to take advantage of the new changes:

Because this policy could significantly improve your credit score, check your credit reports and make sure any medical debt you have already paid is no longer listed. You can get a free report from each of the three credit bureaus once a year. Request your free reports by going online or call 1-877-322-8228.

Once you have your credit reports, make sure that the information is correct. Double-check that any paid medical debt is not still being listed on the report. There are two good places to look to make sure nothing is still mistakenly reported:

  • Check the section where the credit reporting agency “flags” any new debt.
  • Check the “Account Information” or “Collections” section of the report.

If you see any inaccurate information, use the dispute process offered by credit reporting agencies to report any paid medical debt or other errors. Federal law requires credit bureaus to investigate any disputes within 30 days (or 45 days if you got your report through the free annual report service). Credit bureaus must notify you of their findings within five days of completing an investigation.

Information source: U.S. PIRG Education Fund

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