Ambulance rushing to the hospital during a medical emergency Ambulance rushing to the hospital during a medical emergency

Medical Debt

Can you use personal loans to pay for medical emergencies?

Uprova Bar
June 11, 2021

How to pay for medical debt when you don’t have savings.

Medical debt is not uncommon. In fact, 19% of U.S. households could not afford to pay for medical care immediately, according to U.S. Census Bureau data on the burden of medical debt. The data also showed that medical debt was distributed disproportionately across groups based on socioeconomic status, demographic characteristics, and the health status of household members. Among households with medical debt, the median amount owed was $2,000, according to the Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP).

About a third of working Americans have some kind of medical debt. About 28% of those who have medical debt have a balance of $10,000 or more, according to a survey by Salary Finance of more than 2,700 U.S. adults. About 54% of people with medical debt had defaulted on those bills, according to the same survey. Defaulting on a medical bill can lead to financial difficulties if that debt is reported to the major credit bureaus. A significant drop in credit score can make it difficult to borrow funds or access credit in the future.

Why is there so much medical debt?

According to the Federal Reserve, 30% of Americans wouldn’t be able to pay for a $400 unexpected expense without borrowing money or selling possessions. In addition, 8% of Americans lack health insurance. Those who have health insurance coverage can still face unaffordable bills. Emergency room visits can cost patients an average of $1,389 with health insurance and much higher without it.

If a medical bill is sent to collections, it could negatively impact your credit. If you receive a higher than expected medical bill, you could take out a personal loan to cover the costs, but it’s important to weigh the pros and cons before you borrow.

Personal loans for medical bills.

You can use a personal loan to cover medical debt. A personal loan is an unsecured loan, so it does not require collateral. At Uprova.com, you can borrow up to $5,000 for a wide range of expenses including medical debt. We have lending options for borrowers with bad, no, fair and good credit. The qualification process is online and simple. If approved for funding, borrowers can receive funds in their account in as soon as one business day. If you are considering taking out a personal loan to cover debt, keep the following in mind:

  • The interest rate on a loan is how much additional money a borrower will owe each period. The lower the interest rate you secure, the less you will pay for the entire loan.
  • The APR or annual percentage rate represents the total cost of borrowing. That can include any origination fees and other costs.
  • The term or length of your loan is important because it can determine how much you will owe overall and how high each payment will be. You need a term that will provide you with a monthly payment you can afford, but one that won’t keep you in debt for longer.

Other ways to deal with medical bills.

If a medical bill is higher than expected, you may be able to reduce it by speaking to the hospital or provider. Some hospitals have financial assistance programs that you may qualify for. If you are uninsured, you may be able to receive a discount. Some providers will provide a discount up to 50% for uninsured patients. If your provider won’t decrease the bill, they may work with you to create a payment plan.

Summary

Medical debt is common, and many Americans default on the debt they owe for medical care. You can avoid damaging your credit by taking out a personal loan to cover medical costs upfront. Before borrowing, make sure the interest rate and monthly payments make sense with your financial situation. Check your budget to see if you can afford the loan payments. If a personal loan is right for you, visit Uprova.com to borrow up to $5,000 online.


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