This story originally appeared on LearnVest as "How to Tackle Medical Debt (Before Your Credit Gets Wrecked)."
Got a pile of past-due medical bills? Join the debt club. About 25% of Millennials and Gen Xers owe collectors for unpaid doctor and hospital charges. In fact, adults between ages 18 and 50 have the highest percentage of medical debt of any generational group.
Whether your debt is the result of using an out-of-network doctor or you had the bad luck to get sick during a stint without insurance, the time to address your bills is now — before your credit score plunges, which can take years to recover from. The good thing is, with medical debt, there are many steps you can take to resolve it — including these.