No one plans for a medical emergency, but they happen all the time in North Carolina. A sudden illness, a violent car accident, or an injury at work can leave a person in pain, unable to do their job, and struggling to keep up with their lives. Very quickly after a medical incident, a victim may begin to receive medical bills for their treatment. Those bills can be cumbersome even for individuals who have health insurance.
Many Americans carry medical debt on their credit reports and are fighting to get ahead of those liabilities. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau estimates that more than 30% of adults in the country have had medical debts sent to collections and those debts may be impacting their credit scores. As readers know, when a debt goes unpaid and is reported to credit agencies, it can lower a person’s credit score and their ability to get credit in the future.
Medical debt is unique, however, and if it can be repaid in a timely manner it may not have drastic of an impact on credit as other forms of debt, like credit card debt. For example, the 3 major credit reporting companies give individuals a 180 day grace period to pay off their debts before including them on their credit reports. Also, medical debts that do end up on people’s credit reports should be removed once they are paid off and should not linger on reports as other debts may do for years.
There can be a lot of questions and concerns when a person takes on medical debt and it can be overwhelming for them to tackle on their own. It can help to speak with an attorney who understands the debt collection process as well as debt relief options like bankruptcy. This post does not provide any legal advice and should be read as information only.