Since I figured most of us probably have had a lot of medical bills to pay out of pocket at one time or another, maybe someone here could answer my question...
Last July I had a colonoscopy, and ended up with a collective bill of almost $700 ($250 from the deductible and then I had to pay 20%). It was about
$270 to my GI, $125 to the hospital, and another $250 to the anesthesia. This came at the worst time since I'm up to my neck in bills as it is since my future-ex-boyfriend isn't working and I'm paying for all his crap too, and had just moved back to Florida, and then there was Christmas, and blah blah blah... So anyway, I ended up forgetting all about
these bills and two of them (the hospital and anesthesia) were sent to a collection agency. I was really surprised and upset because I only ever received one bill from each of them, and it would have been nice if I had gotten a letter saying "If you don't send a payment you're going to collections" to spark some urgency or something, but jeez.
Anyway, what I'm wondering is, does it effect your credit the moment you're sent to collections? Or is there usually a certain time frame that you can pay it off before it messes things up? I'm freaking out over this, and I know $100-$200 doesn't seem like much but at this current moment for me it really is. I don't want to ask my parents to loan me the money but if I have to pay it in full in order to save my credit I guess I'll have to. I've never been sent to collections for anything before so I'm not quite sure what it means for me, aside from more stress!