Get Out of Debt Guy

How Can I Find Out Who I Owe?

Posted December 27, 2013

Dear Steve,

Before having health insurance, I would have to go to the emergency rather than a regular doctors office because I did not have the money to pay up front for health services.

I was seen in two different emergency rooms a handful of times when I was uninsured. My state taxes were withheld to pay back the state owned hospital (UNC) however, I was also seen in another emergency room that does get payment through garnishing you tax returns.

I was young and did not ever pay these back and they are now reflecting negatively on my credit report. How do I go about getting information to begin making payments on the debts to clean up my credit?


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Dear Angela,

You can visit to get a free copy of each of your credit reports. No one credit bureau lists all debts so you have to look at your reports from all three to get the most information. Using the information from the credit report it will tell you who handled the debt last and should have contact information for them.

Before you contact more than one creditor or collection agency I'd suggest you deal with these one at a time. I'd pick the ones with the smallest balance first and pay them off as quickly as possible.

Repairing your credit is actually a relatively simple process. But it will involve not only taking care of these old debts but also building new credit at the same time. See this guide for details on how to rebuild your credit quickly.


Steve Rhode
WRAL Get Out of Debt Guy

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About this Blog:

Steve Rhode has had careers in opthalmology, real estate and as the head of a nonprofit debt counseling firm. On his blog, he offers hard-won, free advice about getting out of debt, consolidation and making the right choices as you manage your money.