If I default on a debt is the effect on my credit score the same regardless of the amount of debt?

For example if I default on a few hundred dollars of medical debt would that effect my credit score less than defaulting on a many thousands of dollars of medical debt?

  • 2
    I think this is a good question, but your example is potentially different, a follow up would be about the type of debt (medical vs mortgage) not just amount.
    – VBCPP
    Commented Nov 30, 2016 at 21:53
  • @VBCPP Good point. I've edited the question to focus only on the amount of debt and not the type
    – Freiheit
    Commented Nov 30, 2016 at 22:04
  • I think this boils down to "formulas for credit rating are proprietary, so few of us know and those may not be able to anser. The simple solution is "Don't!"
    – keshlam
    Commented Dec 1, 2016 at 3:26

1 Answer 1


Defaulting on a larger amount does lower your score more. For a late payment, the size doesn't matter.

However in the scope of things that hardly matter. Any default or late payment regardless of size is serious. A 30 day late payment for a $10 balance on a credit card can lower a good score by 50 points. Any default will be much worse.

Bottom Line: Any default should be avoided. The "size" making it a little worse is irrelevant. Good rates and such are out the window either way.

  • Where are you getting that 50 points from? First hand experience? Some other source?
    – Freiheit
    Commented Jan 12, 2017 at 1:15

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