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Is it a good idea to pay medical debt with a credit card?

In most situations, it is probably not in your best interest to put any charges for medical care on your credit card. The only exception would be if it is a small amount or it is for something routine like a copay and you know you will be able to pay it off right away. Medical debt is somewhat unique compared to other kinds of debt and you can most likely find another solution without having to rely on credit.

The primary reason to avoid using a card to pay for large medical debts is the amount of interest you will accrue, according to Clearpoint. If you are unable to pay it off right away, the interest charges will rack up each month until do, ultimately costing you much more in the long run. If you make any late payments, you will likely be charged fees and rate could go even higher.

Since doctors and hospitals want to get paid, they are often willing to work with you to come up with a payment solution. For example, they may accept a partial payment, which could buy you some time until you are able come up with additional funds.

In addition, many providers are willing to work out payment plans. At the very least, it never hurts to ask if that option is available before using your credit card. Then you can make smaller affordable payments until the debt is paid off and your credit score will not suffer. If the provider does charge interest on such payments, and many do not, the rate will likely be much lower than what your credit card company is offering.

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Rothschild & Ausbrooks, PLLC
1222 16th Avenue South, Suite 12
Nashville, TN 37212

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