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While household income has gone up for most in Maryland and throughout the United States, medical costs have gone up even faster. Therefore, many who seek treatment feel as if their only option is to put their medical expenses on a credit card. However, there are strategies that people may be able to use to avoid having to do so. For instance, it’s possible to purchase an insurance policy or apply for Medicare.

Those who have a job could be eligible to be covered under an employer’s plan. Those who don’t have access to an affordable insurance policy are encouraged to talk to their medical service provider about a payment plan. Many providers will allow patients to make payments over a period of many months or years, and in some cases, these providers won’t charge interest on an outstanding balance.

If a person does put medical debt on a credit card, it is best to find one that offers 0% financing. Alternatively, individuals should try to make as many payments as possible each month. By paying down a credit card balance in a timely manner, costs from accruing interest will be minimized. If a debtor has a credit score of at least 690, it may be possible to transfer an existing balance to a new card that charges 0% interest.

Individuals who are having difficulty paying down medical debt may want to consider filing for bankruptcy. In a Chapter 13 bankruptcy case, debtors repay their creditors for three or five years under the terms of a plan that they propose. If an unsecured debt balance remains after the repayment period is over, that balance may be discharged. An attorney could explain other potential benefits of bankruptcy.