Getting out of medical debt is an uphill battle. Debt collectors harass you, other bills pile up, what can you do?
First off, you’ll want to relax.
Today we’re going to give you five ways to get out of medical debt so that you can stress less and get back to living!
Let’s talk about getting that debt-beast under control!
Don’t pay your bill with your credit card
The urge to use your credit card to deal with your medical debt is a bad one. While it feels like you are paying your debt right away, you’re not.
What you are doing is simply moving your debt from the hospital to your credit card.
Your credit card debt is considered more serious and carries higher interest rates. You don’t want that!
Medical debt is expensive and moving that debt to your credit cards only makes the debt more expensive and much harder to handle, so resist the urge to use your credit cards for medical debt. It only hurts you in the long run.
Ask for help now…not later!
Medical debt is something that many, many people suffer from…There is a good side to this fact, however, and that is that because so many people deal with medical debt today several organizations have resolved to do something about it.
Help is available if you are struggling with medical debt. Contact your hospital and ask if you qualify for their financial assistance policy. Here’s what you should know:
- Some hospitals will label it as ‘charity care’ but don’t let that dissuade you from asking about it.
- What this “charity care” amounts to is that they take into consideration your current income level to reduce your bill to something more realistic and manageable.
- In some cases, this could mean that your bill is halved, which is certainly easier to deal with than paying the full price that hospitals normally bill insurance companies.
- If you qualify, they may even forgive your debt completely.
Now, you won’t know if you qualify if you never ask, so you should contact your hospital TODAY to get the ball rolling to see if you are approved.
Even if they say no, you might still be able to negotiate your bill down.
Keep pushing for a deal
Make it a habit to call once a week or once a month and to try to renegotiate your bill.
Keep telling them that you cannot afford to pay it and that you need them to make some concessions.
This is an uphill battle but you can erode their defenses over time. It might take weeks, months, or even years, but if you are persistent and refuse to back down you will eventually force them to negotiate with you.
Even when they know your income level, some hospitals will try to convince you that there is nothing that can be done with your bill.
This is simply not true and if you keep pushing, eventually, they will make some concessions just to get it settled and done with. Hang in there, you’ve got this!
Send a no-contact letter to get debt collectors off your back
You might not know it, but you can force those debt collectors to stop harassing you all the time. One of the worst parts of debt is those phone calls. Some stranger calls to harass you and make you feel bad about a bill that you simply cannot pay right now.
It’s demoralizing, to say the very least. It interrupts your day, as these calls can come at the worst times, and it makes you feel like less of a person.
Thankfully, there is a way to fight back and it is called a ‘Do-Not-Contact Letter’ also known as a ‘Cease and Desist’ letter.
The debt collectors don’t want you to know this, but the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act states that you have the right to formally request them to stop calling.
Failure to do so can get them fined and cost them money. If you take the steps to do this they will have to comply.
To find the steps to do this, check out ‘Surviving Debt’ by the National Consumer Law Center. It’s an ebook that you can access for free by clicking this link.
Be sure to check out that information and follow the steps to start the process. You are trying to pay your debt and you don’t be to be harassed daily about it. A Cease and Desist Letter gives you the power to do just that.
Non-Profit credit counselors are worth your while
Part of the problem of getting your medical debt taken care of is the simple question of budgeting. With the complexities of life, laying down a realistic budget to follow can be a daunting task.
Consumer Credit Counseling is available for free and it can do a lot for you. They can help to assess your current overall debt, not just your medical debt, and they compare this to your current income and patiently work with you to create a budget that you can live on.
Yes, it’s a bit of work, but complex problems can’t be solved overnight and these people deal with this situation every day. If you work with them, the odds are that you can come to a realistic solution.
Best of all, these are non-profit organizations, so this means that you can get their help for FREE. To find a credit counseling non-profit, you can simply Google “free consumer credit counseling” or you can get in touch with an established organization such as the National Foundation for Credit Counselling.
If you decide on a different organization that you find, that’s perfectly fine. Just be sure to confirm that they are a non-profit organization so that you know that you are getting the help that you need without any potential surprises in the future.