Finally, some good news regarding your credit score.

I don't feel like this has received the attention it probably deserves. Effective July 1, 2022, all three of the major credit reporting bureaus have changed the way they handle delinquent medical bills and the impact on your credit report. The change is positive and it could really help those who are trying to rebuild their credit score. In fact, Billings was ranked #23 (out of 182) in the nation for cities with residents who can benefit most from the changes, according to a recent report from WalletHub.com.

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Rawpixel
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Just about everybody had medical debt.

From smaller bills like a dentist visit to astronomical bills from surgery or illness, it seems like just about everyone I know has some form of medical debt. It can be overwhelming and when money is tight, medical bills frequently end up in collections. According to the Wallethub report, a large percentage of Billings residents have medical bills in the collection process.

  • 84% of Billings residents have medical debt in collections.
  • 31% have a balance of $500 or less in collections.
  • 39% have medical debt in collections less than a year old.

In Billings, the people that have small, new, or recently-paid-off medical debts stand to gain the most from the changes.

Photo by National Cancer Institute on Unsplash
Photo by National Cancer Institute on Unsplash
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Here's how the new credit reporting system works.

You still need to pay your medical bills. This isn't some type of debt-forgiveness program like they're trying to do with student loans. Once you pay your bill, here's how it works:

  • From July 1 onward, all medical debt in collections that were eventually paid off will be removed from your credit report history.
  • From July 1 onward, new unpaid medical debts will not appear on credit reports for a full year to give people time to pay them off without hurting their score.
  • Starting in the first half of 2023, medical debts of $500 or less will no longer appear on credit reports.

Building your credit score takes time and effort. These new rules will surely help.

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