A medical credit card can help you cover an unexpected medical expense or procedure, but it is important to know the costs associated with these type cards. Offered at most doctors and veterinary offices nationwide, medical credit cards are designed to spread out the payments on medical-related bills you cannot afford to pay upfront.
Approval rates for these cards are high- you can even get approved right at the doctor’s office, according to CreditCards.com. These cards offer a type of financing called “deferred interest,” which sounds appealing in theory, but beware of the consequences. If the balance of the card is not paid in full by the end of the agreed-upon payment period, you are hit with all of the accrued interest at one time, which is typically a very high interest rate. For example, CareCredit’s APR is 26.99%, while the average credit card has an interest rate of around 16.5%.
Something else to remember: the promotional financing applies only to “healthcare-related” expenses, so if you use the card to buy groceries or fill up your gas tank, you will incur interest charges if you do not pay the bill in full during the billing cycle- even if it is within the promotional period.
One of the top medical credit card companies, CareCredit has come under fire when it comes to their lending and enrollment practices. CareCredit was forced to refund customers$34 million in 2013 by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau for deceptive enrollment practices, because consumers thought they were signing up for interest free cards.
If you have medical debt, the best option is to work out a payment plan with the doctor’s office or hospital.
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Those who have experienced illness or injury and found themselves overwhelmed with medical debt should contact an experienced Miami bankruptcy attorney. In bankruptcy, medical bills are considered general unsecured debts just like credit cards. This means that medical bills do not receive priority treatment and can easily be discharged in bankruptcy. Bankruptcy laws were created to help people resolve overwhelming debt and gain a fresh financial start. Bankruptcy attorney Timothy Kingcade knows how to help clients take full advantage of the bankruptcy laws to protect their assets and get successful results. Since 1996 Kingcade & Garcia, P.A. has been helping people from all walks of life build a better tomorrow. Our attorneys’ help thousands of people every year take advantage of their rights under bankruptcy protection to restart, rebuild and recover. The day you hire our firm, we will contact your creditors to stop the harassment. You can also find useful consumer information on the Kingcade & Garcia website at www.miamibankruptcy.com.