Medical Costs Drive Up Credit Card Bills

A 2012 study discovered that medical bills are the leading cause of credit card debt. Since medical and credit card debt are two of the main reasons people file for bankruptcy, it’s no surprise the two are so tightly linked.

It does, however; raise questions about how this affects average families.

How Often Does it Happen?

It turns out that almost half of low- to moderate-income households currently have an average of $1,678 in out-of-pocket medical payments on their credit cards, and more than 75% of those families have used their credit card for those payments in the past three years.

There is a small bright side: the average debt of an American family was down from $9,887 in 2008 to $7,145 in 2012, but a whopping 40% of households use credit cards to pay for the most basic of needs, including mortgage payments and groceries.

How Does Medical Debt Affect a Family?

There are two ways that medical debt affects families. First, as revealed in the study, it drives credit card debt up, forcing families to pay for the medical expenses and the interest it creates on the credit card.

Secondly, the study also discovered that half of the families with medical debt on their credit cards have skipped filling a prescription or seeing a doctor over concern for the cost of the care.

Debt of any kind takes a toll on a family, and sometimes you can find yourself in far over your head for something you can’t possibly help. At these times, it’s okay to push the reset button with the right bankruptcy plan to get you back on your feet. 

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