My Bills Are in Collections! What Do I Do?

Medical bills are the number one reason people file for bankruptcy. But you may not have to make that tough decision if you are able to manage your debt collectors. Bills will typically get forwarded to a collector anywhere between 90 to 120 days after billing.  If your medical bills have already gone to collections, don’t worry! You have options.

Tip 1: If your medical bill has gone into collections, you may be contacted by a debt collector. The debt collector is required to tell you the amount you owe, the creditor you owe it to and information on how you can dispute or verify your debt.

Tip 2: The first thing you want to do is create a budget to get your medical bill paid off as quickly as possible. By creating an action plan, you’ll feel more in control and you’ll be able to better manage your budget.

Tip 3: Many people don’t know that even if you pay the medical bill that went to collections, it doesn’t mean that it disappears from your credit score. You can, however, write a letter of goodwill and request that it be removed.  Attach a copy of the bill, proof of payment, and the letter. FICO, a leading credit scoring index, offers a sample letter here.

You’re not alone in your journey to financial health. Stay organized, be proactive, and keep a line of communication open with those entities associated with your medical bills.

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