An unpaid medical bill won’t be reported to the major credit bureaus, but it could get passed along to a collection agency, in which case a collections account would be added to your credit report and your credit score would fall considerably.
It is important to note, however, that the debt in question must be at least 180 days past due in order to be added to your report, according to a 2015 settlement between 31 states and the three major credit bureaus: TransUnion, Equifax and Experian. The settlement also requires the removal of a medical collections account from your credit report if an insurance company pays the debt.
Although these new rules have helped stem the tide of medical credit damage, more than 43 million people still have negative records related to medical debt on their credit reports, according to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and more than half of the overdue debt on consumer credit reports is medical in nature.
Assuming the record is not an error, a collections account will remain on your credit report for seven years no matter what you do. Even paying the amount you owe out of pocket will not result in the notation’s early removal, though doing so will help revert the credit damage done to date. The newest credit-score models (i.e. VantageScore 3.0 and FICO Score 9) ignore paid collections accounts, which means they’ll remain on your report but will no longer impact your rating.
You can see if any medical collections accounts are listed on your credit report and check your credit score by signing up for a free WalletHub account. WalletHub is the only website that offers free credit scores and full credit reports that are updated on a daily basis. You’ll also benefit from 24/7 credit monitoring, which will notify you if any negative records are added to your record.
WalletHub Answers is a free service that helps consumers access financial information. Information on WalletHub Answers is provided “as is” and should not be considered financial, legal or investment advice. WalletHub is not a financial advisor, law firm, “lawyer referral service,” or a substitute for a financial advisor, attorney, or law firm. You may want to hire a professional before making any decision. WalletHub does not endorse any particular contributors and cannot guarantee the quality or reliability of any information posted. The helpfulness of a financial advisor's answer is not indicative of future advisor performance.
WalletHub members have a wealth of knowledge to share, and we encourage everyone to do so while respecting our content guidelines
. Please keep in mind that editorial and user-generated content on this page is not reviewed or otherwise endorsed by any financial institution. In addition, it is not a financial institution’s responsibility to ensure all posts and questions are answered.