- Starting Sept. 15, the three major credit reporting agencies — Experian, Equifax and TransUnion — will set a 180-day waiting period before including medical debt on a consumer's credit report. The six-month period is intended to ensure there's enough time to resolve disputes with insurers and delays in payment.
In addition, the credit bureaus will remove medical debt from consumers' credit reports once it's paid by an insurer. Some credit scoring models don't penalize paid medical debt from any source.
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For many consumers, an unexpected health care calamity can quickly burgeon into a financial calamity. Just over half of all the debt that appears on credit reports is related to medical expenses, the CFPB found in its 2014 study. For 15 million consumers, medical debt was the only blemish on their credit report.