Tips for avoiding medical debt on credit cards

Median household income is on the rise, but medical costs are rising even faster. Many people end up putting these expenses on their credit cards. However, there are steps people in New Jersey can take to avoid medical debt.

First, people should research health insurance options. For some people, an insurance plan simply may not be affordable. Medicaid or other plans may be an option for some. For those who can afford health insurance and who are still on the fence, it is worth considering what the cost of remaining uninsured might be. Even healthy people can have catastrophic accidents or a sudden illness that can lead to high costs and even bankruptcy.

People who do incur medical expenses may want to ask about a payment plan. Some doctors and medical facilities will offer these, and some do not even charge interest. There are also medical credit cards, but these are different and even though they may start with zero interest, that interest could then be charged retroactively at the end of a certain period. People who do accumulate credit card debt may want to focus on strategies to reduce it, including making two monthly payments to keep the average balance and thus the interest rate down. In some cases, getting a part time job can help pay off debt more quickly.

Unfortunately, for some people, that debt may become overwhelming. If this happens, the person may want to talk to an attorney about debt relief options. Bankruptcy may be one of those options. The attorney may be able to explain whether the person qualifies for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. The former process takes only a few months. For a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, the person must create a payment plan that is approved by creditors and the bankruptcy trustee.

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