Sign up for the BETTER newsletter

You have been successfully added to our newsletter.

NBC News BETTER brings you wellness news and tips to make the most of your mind, your body and your life.

Americans Are Drowning in Uncollected Medical Debt, Report Says

Get the Better newsletter.

Medical debt is hurting the creditworthiness of 43 million Americans, and the systems in place to collect and report this debt can be challenging for people, according to a new report released on Thursday by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).

“It’s hard for consumers to navigate the medical debt maze and come out with a clean credit report on the other side,” said CFPB director Richard Cordray in a statement. “Getting medical care should not make your credit report sick.” The CFPB study concluded that the process of billing for medical care can be confusing and the system for reporting overdue medical debt is haphazard. This could explain why half of all overdue debt on credit reports is now for medical expenses. The report says one out of five credit reports now contains a black mark from overdue medical debt. The major credit reporting agencies will now be required to provide the bureau with regular reports about how consumer disputes are being handled. They will also be expected to investigate companies that have abnormally high dispute rates and do something about it. The CFPB has information on how to deal with medical debt, both before it goes on a credit report and after.

Get the Better newsletter.
Get the Better newsletter.
MORE FROM better

Have feedback?

How likely are you to recommend nbcnews.com to a friend or colleague?

0 = Very unlikely
10 = Very likely
Please select answer

Is your feedback about:

Please select answer

Leave your email if you’d like us to respond. (Optional)

Please enter a valid email address

Thank you!

Your feedback has been sent out. Please enjoy more of our content.

We appreciate your help making nbcnews.com a better place.