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Medical debt affects credit score quickly

Jul 13, 2012 Walt Wojciechowski

Medical bills, even after insurance companies have partially covered procedures, have the tendency to be very expensive and pile up over time, overwhelming the average American. While citizens have to deal with overdue bills on a daily basis, letting medical expenses go unpaid can affect consumer credit scores for years. KTRK, Houston, Texas-based ABC affiliate recently reported that unpaid medical bills are often reported to credit rating companies faster than other types of debt. And because they are reported so quickly, even if they are paid off, they still have the potential to impact a credit score. A 2012 report from the Centers for Disease Control found that more than one in five Americans belongs to a family that has a problem paying medical bills. Ten percent of families cannot pay medical expenses at all due to their financial situation. KTRK explained that many Americans aren't aware of the impact medical bills have on their credit report until they attempt to make a large purchase or refinance. A possible solution could be for major credit bureaus to advertise the free yearly credit score reports that are available to consumers.