Medical Debt

How Medical Debt Affects Your Credit

Medical debt is a financial stressor for many Americans. A vital medical procedure or trip to the emergency room can set someone back thousands of dollars in medical bills, even with insurance coverage. However, if the patient is not able to pay back these bills, that medical debt can turn into an even bigger problem if it’s reported to the credit bureaus.

According to a study from Families USA, approximately 5.4 million Americans were laid off, losing their health insurance coverage between February and May 2020. This figure is 40 percent higher than the previous recorded annual losses. Without health care coverage, it is safe to assume many of these bills will go unpaid.  

Credit Score

What the New FICO Score Will Mean for Consumers

Fair Isaac Corporation, the company behind the credit score used widely by lenders across the country, otherwise known as the FICO score, announced that two new scoring models will be released this summer. These changes will impact consumers in the future, which is why it is important that consumers understand these changes and plan for what they can to keep their credit scores in a good range.

The FICO score is a three-digit credit score that is based on a person’s credit report. The score is a quick way for lenders to be able to assess the borrower’s credit history and to determine whether the borrower is a lending risk. FICO scores range between 300 to 850, with the higher the score the better. The better the person’s FICO score is, the more likely he or she will be approved for financing.

Credit Card Debt, Credit Score

Reasons to Check Your Credit Score Twice this Holiday Season

When it comes to monitoring a credit score, it is important to pay all bills on time and not max out a credit card when relying on one for holiday spending. However, another factor, known as the credit utilization ratio, plays a major role in a consumer’s FICO score. In fact, this number accounts for 30 percent of the average consumer’s FICO score, and it is the second most important part of a person’s credit score next to paying bills on time.

To figure out what this score is, the consumer needs to add up credit limits across all his or her credit cards and then add up the outstanding balance on each card. Divide the total balance owed by the total limits and multiply that by 100 to determine the percentage or credit utilization ratio.