The potential pitfalls of medical credit cards

Posted by Lauren S. CohenJan 22, 20180 Comments

New York residents who may not be able to pay for dental work or a trip to the doctor may put those expenses on a credit card. However, roughly 33 percent of Americans say that they struggle to pay off that debt, according to a Kaiser Family Foundation survey. In some cases, individuals don't truly understand what they are signing up for when they apply for a medical credit card.

In some cases, patients may believe that they are signing up for an installment plan as opposed to applying for a credit card. Some who applied for medical credit cards may have been denied a copy of its terms, which means that they had to rely on office staffers for guidance. One issue that cardholders may run into is paying deferred interest on a balance after the zero percent interest promotional period expires.

Those who use medical credit cards are urged to make more than the minimum payment each month in an effort to pay the balance before the promotional period expires. Depending on the terms of a given card, the interest rate can be as high as 25 percent. Individuals who are seeking medical care are also advised to take time to review all of their financing options before signing up for a medical credit card.

Debtors who are facing financial challenges because of excessive credit card debt may wish to consider filing for bankruptcy. Doing so may make it possible to have debts discharged. Those who opt for Chapter 13 bankruptcy may have their debts reorganized and paid off over three or five years. During the repayment period, creditors generally cannot foreclose on a home or repossess a vehicle. Other collection actions may also be forbidden during this time.