Starting this year, the three leading credit agencies began wiping medical debt under $500 from americans' credit reports.
To benefit from this change, you don't have to do anything.
But experts say it's still smart to check on it.
“If you find that there's an error on your credit report, you can write to the credit bureau who has the reporting," said financial attorney Leslie Tayne. “Remember, not every creditor has to report to all three bureaus, so you might see that there's a delinquent medical debt on one or two reports, but not all of them.”
You should also notice a boost in your credit score.
”On a credit score, just one delinquent debt, even for $25 or $75, a small amount can actually take your credit score by a 100 points or more depending on where your original score was,” Tayne said. “That's why it's very important to understand what this really means for consumers.”
Higher credit scores help people secure loans, and get them at a lower rate.
Just because medical debt no longer impacts you in this area doesn't mean it's gone.
“You could still be sued by a creditor, a medical debt provider, a law firm who's collecting on behalf of a hospital or a provider on behalf of the debt,” Tayne said.
To prevent any medical debt from showing up on your credit at all, check with the provider about setting up a payment plan as soon as you get the bill.
If the debt doesn't go to collections then it doesn't get reported on your credit.
There are also non-profits that can help to see.