If medical bills have caused your credit score to dive and make you eligible only for bad credit mortgages, you may soon get some relief. The Medical Debt Relief Act, recently passed by the House of Representatives, requires that paid-off or settled debts related to medical issues no longer impact credit scores.

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According to the Commonwealth Fund, medical bill problems or accrued medical debt affects roughly 72 million working-age adults in America. Each year, thousands of Americans enter into debt settlement negotiations or contemplate bankruptcy as a result. Trying to get these suckers settled, paid, and reported correctly on credit histories is a major cause of baldness as consumers tear out their hair. If this bill passes the Senate, your hair may be safer in the future, and your credit score may get a nice boost as well.

The bill's author, Rep. Mary Jo Kilroy (D-Ohio), noted that "medical debt collections are more likely to be in dispute, inconsistently reported, and of questionable value in predicting future payment performance because it is atypical and non-predictive."

When asked why Congress should remove certain medical debts from consumers' credit reports, mortgage credit expert Rodney Anderson agreed with Kilroy. But he also noted that medical debts are unlike other debts because the entire medical billing process is overly complex and almost completely opaque to consumers. (Have you ever tried to check a hospital bill for errors or coordinate the bill with two insurers?!) Finally, unlike most other debts we incur, medical bills are not racked up by choice. They happen when our kids get sick or when some bozo rear-ends us in traffic. No boats, Blahniks, or bling involved.

Credit reporting agencies have long included medical debt in credit reports and used it as an indicator of our credit worthiness. By removing medical debt from the equation, some point out that the credit bureaus will likely alter the scoring methods to effectively reduce the amount of available credit for everyone as well as increase borrowing costs overall. But it's not like they really know -- that stuff's top secret. But we do know that someone with no credit who gets a medical collection only has derogatory tradelines in his report and would thus have a bad score. Because it's not like you get a good tradeline when you pay your docs on time -- you get bubkis. So that would cause derogatory medical data to be weighted more heavily than perhaps it should be, hurting those who make light use of credit even though that is probably smarter than having a different VISA for every day of the week.

Since its passage in the House, the bill must now go to the Senate for final approval before making its way to President Obama.