In A Nutshell
Having a collection account on your credit report can bring down your credit score. If you’ve discovered a collection from Medicredit on your report, or you’ve started getting phone calls from them, here’s a guide to getting a Medicredit collection removed from your credit report.
Medicredit is a debt collection agency that collects debts that creditors have failed to pay. According to their profile on the Better Business Bureau (BBB) website, they are headquartered in Missouri and have been in business for 42 years.
Although Medicredit has an A+ rating from the BBB, it’s important to note that customer reviews don’t factor into a company’s score. Despite the high grade, Medicredit is also the subject of over 200 consumer complaints on the BBB website.
3 Things to Do If You Are Contacted by Medicredit
Medicredit has a reputation for being an aggressive debt collector, and many consumer complaints say they’re difficult to work with.
If you have a Medicredit collection on your credit report, here are three steps to consider.
#1. Verify the Debt Is Legitimate
First, you should always confirm that any alleged debt from a collection agency is legitimate. According to a Federal Trade Commission (FTC) report, 1 in 5 Americans has an inaccuracy on their credit reports, so don’t automatically assume a collection account is valid.
Next, know your rights. Under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), debt collectors must send you a written validation of the debt within five days of contacting you about it. (See a full list of your rights by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, CFPB).
A valid Notice of Debt must contain an itemization date, which can be any one of the following:
- The charge-off date.
- The date the last payment was applied to the debt.
- The date of the transaction that initiated the debt.
- The date of the last statement or invoice provided by the creditor.
- The judgment date, if there is a court judgment on the debt.
If any of the information in their communication is inaccurate or incomplete, you have a legal right to get confirmation of the debt’s accuracy by sending them a debt validation letter.
Not only that, but the Notice of Debt needs to also include a lot of detail about the debt, including:
- Your full name and mailing address
- The debt collector’s name and mailing address.
- The account number of the debt.
- The creditor to which the debt is owed currently.
- The amount of the current debt.
- A list of any payments made on the debt, including fees and interest.
- The name of the creditor who was owed the date on the itemization debt (if the debt is related to a loan or credit card).
By law, you have just 30 days after receiving written notice of the debt to send your debt validation letter. If Medicredit can’t verify the debt, they’re required by law to remove it from your credit report.
#2. Dispute the Debt
You should follow this step regardless of whether the debt is valid or invalid.
Why? Because there’s always a chance, however slim, that Medicredit will remove the collection account if you press them on it.
Medicredit’s BBB profile says the company claims it averages over 200,000 consumer contacts a month. With so many accounts, there are bound to be mistakes and missing paperwork — two things that might work to your advantage.
Fortunately, disputing a debt is as easy as sending a letter — preferably by certified mail so you have a record that you sent it. You should also include any documentation that supports your claim.
If Medicredit can’t back up its claims, it must remove the account from your credit report. If it comes back with proof, however, you might still be able to negotiate a pay-for-delete.
Check the Statute of Limitations
Remember to check the statute of limitations in your state, and compare it against the date of the debt. If the statute of limitations has expired, the collector cannot initiate legal action against you.
The statute of limitations starts on the date when the debt was first reported as delinquent.
#3. Negotiate a Pay for Delete Agreement
Assuming Medicredit responds with proof that your debt is the real deal, you can try to negotiate a pay-for-delete agreement. This means you agree to pay the debt in exchange for Medicredit removing it from your credit report.
If you go this route, remember to negotiate directly with Medicredit and not the credit bureaus. The credit bureaus will simply respond that they don’t have the authority to remove a negative item from your credit report, which is why you should always approach the creditor or collection agency.
You can ask for a pay for delete by sending a letter to Medicredit. In your letter, make it clear that you’re offering to pay in exchange for Medicredit deleting the collection account from your credit report.
Keep in mind, however, that the debt might still appear on your credit report as a separate account under the original creditor’s name. If this happens, you’ll need to contact the original creditor in a separate letter. Just remember to keep everything in writing.
According to a study by U.S. News & World Report, collection agencies will settle for between 40-60% of the balance.
What If the Medicredit Debt Is Invalid?
If the Medicredit collection is a mistake, you should dispute it. If it’s showing up on your credit report, you should send a dispute letter to both Medicredit and the credit bureau.
Should I Seek Professional Help to Remove Medicredit from My Credit Report?
While you can dispute negative items on your credit report on your own, some people prefer working with a credit repair company. This is a good option if you don’t have a lot of time to devote to the dispute process.
Before you sign on with a credit repair company, however, it’s important to do your homework. Not all credit repair companies deliver on their promises, and some are outright scams.
Can I Pay the Original Creditor Instead of the Collection Agency?
By the time a debt is with a collection agency, it usually means the original creditor has sold the debt to the agency. In that scenario, the collection agency is the owner of the debt, so you should make your payment to the agency.
However, Medicredit states on its BBB profile page that it doesn’t actually purchase consumer debt. Instead, it claims that doctors and hospitals “refer” debts to Medicredit for collection.
In this case, the account should still be owned by the original creditor, which means you should work with your original creditor to get the debt deleted or paid.
On the other hand, don’t be surprised if the debt shows up on your credit report twice: once under your original creditor’s name and once under Medicredit’s name as a collection account.
If this happens, you should cover all your bases by disputing the debt with both Medicredit and the credit bureau.
If you decide to pay the debt, make sure you determine who actually owns the debt before you start to negotiate. Don’t send any money until you get an acknowledgment of ownership from the original creditor or Medicredit.
How Long Can Multiple Accounts Impact Your Credit?
A collection account will stay on your credit report for seven years. However, this time period can extend if you make a payment toward your debt before the seven years runs out.
If you have multiple accounts from Medicredit or another collection agency, each account can show up as its own line item on your report. The more collection accounts you have, the bigger the hit on your credit score.
How Long Can a Debt Collector Legally Pursue Old Debt?
Each state has its own laws that set a statute of limitations for how long a collection agency can sue a debtor in court.
These statutes of limitations range anywhere from three to 10 years after the start of the delinquency or the date of the last payment.
Does Medicredit Report to Credit Bureaus?
Medicredit reports to the three credit bureaus: Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion.
If you’re going to dispute a collection account, make sure to only dispute it with the bureaus that have it listed. For example, if a Medicredit collection only appears on your Experian report, you don’t need to file a dispute with Equifax or TransUnion.
2 Quick Ways to Check Your Credit Score
There are two quick and easy ways to check your credit score. Best of all, they’re both free.
#1. Discover Credit Scorecard
The Discover Credit Scorecard is free to anyone who signs up. Once you’re signed up, you can see your updated FICO® score once every 30 days.
There are no strings attached, and you don’t need to have a Discover card or account to participate. For more information, check out this guide to getting your credit score for free in under five minutes.
#2. Credit Karma
You can get access to your VantageScore if you sign up for a Credit Karma account. It doesn’t cost anything to join, but you’ll need to provide some personal information to verify your identity.
Credit Karma won’t show you your FICO® score, as it only uses the VantageScore credit scoring model. You will also start receiving offers for credit cards and similar products after you sign up.
Collection accounts can drag down your credit score, so it’s important to address them as soon as possible.
If you start receiving calls from Medicredit or you see a Medicredit collection on your credit report, follow the verification and dispute steps to get it removed or settled fast.