ACCC is providing guidance on this and other factors that improve credit scores.
Boston, MA – May 23, 2022
Medical debt under $500 that has been placed into collections will be removed from Americans’ credit reports after July 1st, 2022. The policy change was announced recently by the three Nationwide Credit Reporting Agencies (NCRAs): Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion.
National nonprofit American Consumer Credit Counseling (ACCC) is currently advising clients on how this favorable change in reporting practices may impact them, while also highlighting other steps they can take to boost their credit scores.
All unpaid medical debt would not appear on a consumer’s report until after a year’s time – as opposed to the current standard of six months – allowing consumers an opportunity to manage that debt with their insurance or provider before it is reported on their credit file.
According to the three NCRAs, these measures will remove nearly 70 percent of medical collection debt tradelines from consumer credit reports.
“Medical debt for millions of Americans is unforeseeable and inevitable, as the cost of healthcare can very quickly become overwhelming,” said Allen Amadin, President and CEO of American Consumer Credit Counseling. “This change in how medical debt is reported will give some much-needed financial breathing room to individuals and families coping with major healthcare expenses.”
ACCC is sharing several useful tips with clients and all consumers that can help boost credit scores and maximize the positive impact from the removal of medical debt from credit profiles:
- Get Your Credit Reports from All Three NCRAs: Since the global pandemic began in March 2020, AnnualCreditReport.com has allowed anyone to get a free report weekly. This report not only lets you know where you stand to start taking steps to improve your credit score, but also see if there are any mistakes and dispute them.
- Pay Bills on Time: Late payments are a major factor in damaged credit. Set calendar reminders or autopay to never miss a payment and when possible, make bigger payments than the minimum. If money is tight getting a side job can help to reduce debt if the extra earnings are dedicated to paying down balances Communicate with your creditors if you think you will miss payments.
- Balance Credit Utilization Ratio: Up to 30 percent of a credit score depends on how well one maintains this ratio. This refers to the amount you spend on your credit cards compared to your overall credit limit. Ideally, you should keep your credit utilization rate under 30%, or lower if possible.
A good credit score is helpful to the financial health of every American. The highest credit scores qualify for the lowest interest rates on some of the largest expenses most people will ever encounter: home mortgages, student loans, automobile loans and more.
About American Consumer Credit Counseling
American Consumer Credit Counseling (ACCC) is a nonprofit credit counseling 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to empowering consumers to achieve financial management through credit counseling, debt management, bankruptcy counseling, housing counseling, student loan counseling, and financial education concerning debt solutions. To help consumers reach their goal of debt relief, ACCC provides a range of free consumer personal finance resources on a variety of topics including budgeting, credit and debt management, student loan assistance, youth and money, homeownership, identity theft, senior living, and retirement. Consumers can use ACCC’s worksheets, videos, calculators, and blog articles to make the best possible decisions regarding their financial future. ACCC holds an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau and is a member of the National Foundation for Credit Counseling® (NFCC®). For more information or to access free financial education resources, log on to ConsumerCredit.com or visit http://www.consumercredit.com/financial-education.aspx