Unexpected medical expenses can sneak up on anyone at any time with no warning. If a medical judgement is issued against you for costs associated with this type of scenario, the first thing you are going to want to do is to try and fight it using the tactics discussed here. If that doesn’t work, however, then you are going to have a black mark on your credit report for the next seven years.
The most important thing to do in this instance is to not lose hope and to instead do everything you can to repair your credit as quickly as possible.
Negotiate your debt: As previously noted, just because a judgement is filed against you doesn’t mean the plaintiff is going to get paid. Medical establishments are aware of this fact which means you can likely negotiate a more reasonable fee as opposed to simply paying what a judge says you owe.
In order to do this, the first thing you are going to need to do is to organize and review your medical bills to ensure they are free of errors including double charges or overcharges. Billing items you can contest include things like full-day charges for the day you were released from the hospital, medication charges and secondary charges for standard supplies such as sheets and gowns as these should be factored into the daily fees. Additionally, if you have insurance you should see a deduction for what they paid on your bill as well.
Once you know exactly what you have to pay, you will then want to compare that amount to your monthly bills and determine how much you can afford to pay of the bill in question. If you only have a small percentage of the total available currently, the best bet is to wait until you have at least fifty percent of the total saved and then reach out to the plaintiff and offer to settle. You can either call the
other party or send out the pay for delete letter from here. Regardless, if you come to an agreement make sure you get it in writing.
Play catch-up: If you spent time recuperating from a major illness or accident then it is likely that your medical expenses aren’t the only thing you have to deal with, which means the first step to rebuilding your credit is to get your other payments back on track. To do so, you are going to want to contact each of your creditors and explain the situation and ask if you can work out some type of payment plan to get back On track. Generally, you will be able to come to an agreement that you can both live with that won’t leave you completely broke. Getting back into the habit of paying all of your bills on time is a crucial step towards rebuilding your credit.
Installment accounts: In addition to opening a secured credit card as described in this blog post, you are going to want to go about building positive credit by obtaining an installment loan. This is a loan for a set amount with a set term and a set repayment. Installment loans are easier to get that rotating loans (such as standard credit cards) as the risk to the lender is lessened.
Even still, depending on your current level of credit you may need to get someone who trusts you to cosign on the loan. A cosigner is someone with good credit who essentially gives their word that you are going to pay back the loan, otherwise the failure hurts their credit as well. A good place to look for a starter installment loan is from an independent automotive dealership. These dealers are going to have less stringent requirements than major chains and are often more accustomed to dealing with individuals with less than stellar credit. You may not even need a cosigner after all. If you do get a loan in this fashion, make it a point of always paying the bill on time as this fact will be reported to the credit bureaus (read more) on the monthly basis.
Editor at CreditRepairExpert
Steven is a Certified Financial Planner (CFP) and Certified Credit Counselor (CCC) and joined CreditRepairExpert in June 2016 as a Credit Repair Adviser to continue his mission of making a difference in the world. Everyday, Steven speaks with individuals and families in the online credit repair community to answers questions and offer help people on their journey to repair their credit rating. If you have a story idea for Steven or you would like help with credit repair, please email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.