| August 19, 2009

Read the fine print with healthcare credit cards

When it comes to not being able to pay off your bills, credit counseling may be an option.

This advice comes from Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson, who recommended consumers consult a nonprofit credit counseling service if they’re having debt problems. Swanson’s suggestion comes as the result of more consumers being offered healthcare credit cards.

“These credit cards are sometimes aggressively marketed by patients’ medical clinics, dental clinics, chiropractic offices, or other providers,” Swanson said.

Before signing up for a healthcare credit card, Swanson suggests that consumers read the fine print in the agreement. Not doing so could lead to interest rates as high as 29.99 percent or late fees of more than $30.

Swanson suggests that consumer should make sure the offer is the best fit for their personal finances. Some consumers may find that getting a loan from a bank may be a better fit when paying for medical expenses.

Along with giving advice about healthcare credit cards, Swanson’s actions have also rippled through the credit card debt arbitration industry. Her recently-settled suit against the National Arbitration Forum has caused the firm to discontinue taking on additional debt arbitration cases.

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