A Money 411 clip on the Today Show last week had some really surprising comments about things that could be hurting your credit score.

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Some of the factors weren’t surprising – late payments, or mistakes on your credit report. But the idea that going to a mental health therapist was really beyond the realm of reality to me. That shouldn’t be something that is allowed to be viewed by anyone but you, your therapist, and your insurance company. What about HIPAA? And would this actually show up in a credit report if you paid cash, or only if you used a credit card to pay your bill? I’m really curious.

This really speaks to the stigma surrounding mental health issues in this country. The reality is that someone who is actively going to therapy is being responsible about their mental health, because they are seeking help. It’s unfair to penalize someone for owning up to their health issues, because I seriously doubt that the credit agencies would apply the same penalty to someone who is attending regular physical therapy, or someone who gets their teeth cleaned. Sure, financial problems can be wrapped up in the mental health arena. One of the most common symptoms of manic-depression, or bipolar disorder, is that people spend money irresponsibly during manic periods. However, someone who is managing their illness knows this and acts more responsibly than someone who is totally oblivious to their disease.

What’s your opinion? Do you think that mental health issues are a sign of financial problems? Or should the credit reporting agencies keep their noses out of people’s health?