Unfortunately, a lot of Georgia consumers struggle with medical debt. In fact, according to recent studies, 26% of consumers in Georgia and other states struggle with overwhelming medical bills. Sadly, many of those facing financial stress over healthcare costs actually have insurance. However, medical coverage is often insufficient – or, billing errors might inflate what they owe. There is no denying the fact that figuring out the complexities of medical billing and dealing with medical debt is stressful. Yet, if consumers in Georgia follow a strategic plan for dealing with medical expenses, they can protect their credit scores and possibly save themselves some money – and frustration.
Why Georgia Consumers Should Figure Out Exactly What They Owe Before Tackling Medical Debt
The good news for Georgia consumers with medical debt is that the three major credit bureaus changed their medical debt reporting policies in September of 2017. Now, the credit bureaus must wait at least 180 days before reporting medical debt on consumer credit reports. This is to ensure that the insurance companies have time to pay their portions.
However, during this window of time, consumers in Georgia should make sure that all of their bills are accurate. They should also formulate plans to pay any balances remaining after the insurance companies cover their obligations. Even if you believe that your health insurance will pay all or most of your bills, you should still keep tabs on costs and payments. Because, if overdue medical bills do end up on your credit report as negative items, they can damage your credit score for up to seven years.
In order to make sure your medical bills are accurate, go over each service and charge carefully. If anything looks incorrect, call your provider immediately. Also, check in frequently with your insurance company to make sure that all covered expenses are paid promptly. Finally, if you’re confused about whether or not billed items are accurate, hire a medical billing advocate.
How Georgia Consumers Should Handle Medical Debt that they Definitely Owe
If Georgia consumers discover that their legitimate medical debt is too much to handle, they have a few options. First, they can call their service providers and try to negotiate. Depending on their financial circumstances, they might offer to pay a lump sum at a reduced rate. Or, they can possibly pay a percentage of the bill and ask for a payment plan.
If a consumer in Georgia has medical debt that comes with a high interest rate, and they have a good credit score, they can apply for a 0% credit card, and pay the balance off with the card. Yet, most balance transfer credit card issuers only offer 0% interest for a limited time. Therefore, Georgia consumers who pursue this option should make definite plans to pay the debt off as quickly as possible. You may also save money on medical debt by taking out a personal loan to cover your bills. Just make sure that you should around to find a loan with a competitive interest rate.
How Georgia Consumers Can Protect their Credit Scores After Paying Off Medical Debt
After consumers in Georgia pay off their medical debt, they can protect their credit scores by checking their credit reports at least once every 12 months. Unfortunately, creditors and the credit bureaus frequently make mistakes with consumer information. Then, these mistakes show up as credit report errors that often bring down credit scores.
So, make sure that your paid medical debt shows up correctly on all three of your credit reports (from the major reporting bureaus). Just go to www.annualcreditreport.com, and request your free annual credit report copies from TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian.
Then, while reviewing your credit reports, if you find that mistakes and errors have damaged your credit score, contact Credit Repair Lawyers immediately. When you trust our firm with your credit issues, our credit pros will go to work immediately, saving you the frustration of dealing with the credit bureaus on your own. You’ll also get immediate access to an experienced credit attorney who will do whatever it takes to get you clean credit reports – legally and for free.
The Free and Legal way to Get Better Credit in Georgia
Don’t let errors on your credit reports bring your credit score down. At Credit Repair Lawyers of America, we’ve been cleaning up credit reports for consumers since 2008 for free. How do we do it? All of our fees come from the defendants in settled cases. This is why our clients pay nothing for the work we do.
Let’s start the conversation about what we can do for your credit. Set up your free consultation today by calling Attorney Gary Nitzkin at (404) 591-6680 or sending him a message through our contact page.
For more information about Free Credit Repair, please visit https://creditrepairlawyersam.com/credit-repair-free/.