Stressed man at work Debt stress can lead to mental health issues, which may increase other behaviors affecting health, including smoking and increased alcohol consumption. (Photo: Shutterstock)

In March, the three private companies that keep credit information on more than 200 million people in the United States announced that certain kinds of medical debt would no longer be used in calculating credit scores.

Under pressure from federal regulators and a growing body of data that medical debt is not a good predictor of creditworthiness, Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion said that they would no longer use medical debts that were paid after they went to collections. This change will eliminate up to 70% of the medical debt that appears on credit reports. The decision went into effect on July 1. Beginning in 2023, the credit-reporting companies will also exclude unpaid medical collection debts under $500.

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