Alternatives to using a credit card to pay medical debt

  • Jeremy Shephard
  • February 28, 2020
  • 0

People in Michigan who have medical bills to pay might wonder whether to put them on a credit card. There are several other options the person should try first.

First, people should review their charges. Most medical bills have errors according to some estimates, and taking the time to find out whether this is the case can save a lot of money. The next step is to try to negotiate. Medical providers tend to be more flexible than credit card companies. They may offer to forgive the rest of the bill if a person can offer a certain amount. Medical providers might also offer a discount or a payment plan without interest. Finally, people should find out whether they are eligible for financial aid. Applying for aid, even for people who think they will not qualify, can give the person extra time to pay the bill.

There may be situations in which a person has exhausted all of these possibilities and still owes money. This is not unusual. A survey by Salary Finance found that nearly 33% of employed people have medical debt, and more than one-quarter of those owe over $10,000. People who are considering using a credit card in this situation should try to use one with a low interest rate. Medical debt should not be ignored.

Even with these options, some people may simply be overwhelmed. An attorney might explain a person’s options for debt relief, including bankruptcy, and help determine whether the person is eligible for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Chapter 7 discharges most debts, including medical debt. Chapter 13 involves a reorganization of debts. With Chapter 13, people work out a payment plan and pay off debtors over a period of three to five years.