But do hospital medical bills affect credit? The short answer is yes, any unpaid bill which has been reported to a credit bureau counts against your credit score. However, some medical agencies wont report your debt to a credit bureau, and even if it is reported, some bureaus are a bit more lenient on medical debts than others.
Yet there are still some medical agencies that will send your debt to collections after 90 days and some credit bureaus that will show no mercy it really could go either way. Unfortunately the time when medical agencies and credit bureaus tended to be kind more often than not is long gone. Dont expect creditors and lenders to go easy on you these days. Like any other unpaid bill, medical bills account for up to 35% of your credit score. Obviously that could be quite a sizable chunk to have chopped off, especially if youre looking to buy a home any time soon.
There was a period when lenders wouldnt look at medical bills below a certain amount and creditors even once weighed medical bills a bit lighter, but those days are long gone thanks to the housing bubble and recession. You can pretty much expect medical bills to be treated equally with any other bill including most especially your debt to income ratio since lenders will expect you to set up a payment plan with your creditors whenever you get a loan. Generally speaking most medical agencies will send two notices in the mail requesting payment before sending your debt to a collection agency or reporting it to a credit bureau. So it stands to reason if you pay it on the second notice you wont have any smudges or marks on your credit report. So even if you cant afford to pay the bill at the office, you should at least plan to pay it within 60 to 90 days to avoid the negative payment history.