While all debt is stressful, medical debt can be the most stressful, financially and emotionally. Medical debt often results from an unexpected health problem such as an emergency trip to the hospital after a sports injury or injuries from a sudden car accident. Medical debt may also be the result of a chronic health condition or illness. Even a short stay in the hospital can leave you with large bills that leave you in debt for years to come and with a credit score that needs healing itself. The last thing you’ll want to deal with after illness or injury is the medical bills but ignoring them can be damaging.
Medical Debt and Your Credit Score
The majority of debt listed on credit reports is medical debt. The cost of hospital visits, specialist visits, labs, and procedures can add up quickly. Even with health insurance, the bills can still put you in a stressful financial situation. Ignoring the bills leads to them being sent to collections. This is noticeable on your credit report and negatively impacts your credit score. A low credit score can affect you for many years to come. A low credit score can force you to pay higher interest rates when taking out a loan in the future, forcing you into even more debt.
Dealing with Medical Debt
Don’t wait for your medical bills to be sent to collections before you start to tackle them. When you first receive the bill, look it over checking for any mistakes or errors. If found, contact the billing office to have them corrected immediately.
Another thing to remember is that many medical bills are negotiable. Contact the medical billing office and see if they’re willing to lower the total or remove fees. They may also be able to work out an affordable payment plan for you. Treat the payments like you would any other debt and pay on time to avoid penalties.
Consider a Personal Loan for Medical Debt
If the medical bills are adding up and the debt can’t be negotiated down to an amount you can afford, you should consider taking out a personal loan. Often with lower rates than credit cards, a personal loan can eliminate the stress from the medical bills and keep your bills from being sent to collections. A personal loan is a quick way to get funding for your medical needs or debt.
Even if you’ve been responsible for every aspect of your financial life, an emergency or overwhelming medical issue can arise and leave you devastated. A personal loan is a legitimate option for dealing with or consolidating your medical debt.