Medical credit cards could cause debt

While unemployment has been one of the biggest factors causing credit card debt among younger consumers, many seniors have struggled with debt after using their cards to finance medical procedures.

In addition, many seniors are offered credit cards by hospitals, as some doctors and dentists have arrangements with issuers to offer financing to patients.

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman says this problem is one of the reasons why healthcare debt is the number one cause of personal bankruptcy, Consumer Affairs reports. In addition, he says consumers should explore all other options before applying for a healthcare credit card.

Schneiderman has also developed a credit card debt calculator for consumers to use when calculating their medical payments, the news source says. By Schneiderman’s assessment, a $10,000 charge on a standard healthcare credit card with a 29.9 percent interest rate would lead to a $300 monthly payment.

While this may seem affordable, many seniors live on fixed incomes and may have trouble paying back the borrowing. Over the last decade, bankruptcy rates among the nation’s elderly have skyrocketed, with many blaming medical bills and credit cards for the epidemic.

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