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Illinois medical debt may soon be excluded from your credit score

SPRINGFIELD (WGEM) – Medical debt accrued in Illinois may soon be left off people’s credit scores. The Illinois House of Representatives passed a bill Thursday with broad bipartisan support banning credit reporting agencies from using medical debt when creating someone’s credit score.

The state Senate passed the bill unanimously on April 11. It now heads to Gov. JB Pritzker’s desk.

The bill’s House sponsor, state Rep. Maurice West, D-Rockford, said medical debt is different from other debts because it’s generally much larger and not accumulated voluntarily.

He added a poor credit score can prevent someone from getting loans, an apartment or even a job.

“People should not be kept from earning a living or having a place to live just because they got sick in a place where health care remains unaffordable for many,” West said.

If the bill becomes law, people who owe medical debt would still be required to pay it. Debt collectors could still go after their assets and garnish their wages.

This bill comes as Gov. JB Pritzker is making a push for the state to purchase $10 million in Illinoisans medical debts. That would allow the state to forgive $1 billion in debt as it’s sold at 1% of what the debtor owes.

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